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A New England Town and Its 

Compiled for the Middlesex County History. 

With Sketches and Illustrations, Additional, 

Lucie Caroline Hager. 

•• The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and 
that which is done is that which shall be done : and there 
is no new thing under the sun." 


J. W. LEWIS & CO., Philadelphia. 


Copyright 1890, By J. W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia. 


Copyright 1890, 

J^^ ^ J©i«i»ton |&rcjJ!*, 



I have been led to believe, by conversation upon the subject 
with some of the older residents of the place, that a history of 
Boxborough printed in a small volume, separately from "The 
History of Middlesex County," would be favorably received by 
many of those who are interested in the welfare of the town, or 
who have been connected with it from early years. 

I therefore issue the book in its present form. It is with 
some misgivings that these pages are placed before the citizens 
of Boxborough, many of whom are familiar with its history 
from the beginning. For besides laboring under the disadvan- 
tage of having been a resident of the town, and acquainted 
with it, only a few years, I have been obliged to glean a part 
of the facts from somewhat incomplete town and church 
records, and the rest from the personal recollections of the 
people. Upon perusal, therefore, should errors become 
apparent to any, the author asks for lenient criticism. 

For myself, I would say, I have become very much inter- 
ested in the town and also in its early inhabitants while 
engaged in studying and writing this history. 

I wish here to express my indebtedness to Messrs. J. W. 
Lewis and Co., for according to me the privilege of using, in 
this volume, whatever material was recently published in the 
Middlesex County History under the head of " Boxborough ; " 
also, to assure my friends of my gratitude for and appreciation 
of their many efforts in my behalf while T have been engaged 

4 Preface. 

in this work. Suggestions, scraps of information, use of 
records and genealogies, etc., have been freely given, and ver}- 
helpful. And, further, in this last venture, for assistance in 
interesting and securing subscribers, I would render my sincere 

Tiianks are hereby given, also, for the engraving of the 
Congregational Church, which was presented by The Ladies' 
Circle, and for the engraving of the Town Hall, the gift of 
Deacon S. B. Hager. 







Early History — Formation — Scenery — Situation 
— Reason for New Town — Harvard Meeting-house — 
Petition to General Court — Act of Incorporation It 


District Officers — Boundary Troubles — Estates 
Transferred — Location of Boundaries — Working of 
New District — Town Hall — Incidents — Roads — 
Fitchburg Railroad — Political .... 20 


:Military History — Luther Blanchard — 1812 — 
War of the Rebellion — Soldiers' Names — Schools — 
Division of Town — School Buildings — Reports . 28 


Ecclesiastical — Church Organized — First Pastor 
— Installation — Sermon — Mr. Willard — Contro- 
versy — Rev. Aaron Picket . . . . . 37 



Separation — New Society — Rev. James R. dish- 
ing — New Clnircli — Pastors — The First Parish — 
Methodist Church — Statistics — Centennial — Town 
Officers 44 


Geology — Flora — Fauna ..... 50 

Miscellaneous ....... 61 


Biograpliical Sketches — Bigelow Family — P)lan- 
chard Family — James S. Braman — Charles H. 
Burroughs — Chester Family ..... 85 


Cobleigh Family — Francis Conant — Stuart P. 
Dodge — Di'aper Family — John Fletcher . . 109 


The Hager Family — Sketch of Author, hy Jane M. 
Read 123 


James R. Hayden — Hay ward Family — rfohn Hoar 
- Wm. S. Houghton — Littlefield Family . . 149 

Content i<. 


Mead Family — Wm. ]Moore — Joseph H. Orendorff 
— Page Famil}' — Patch Family — Amasa A. Rich- 
ardson — Dr. Robins ...... 163 


Stone Family — Ta3'lor Family . . . 178 


Wetherbee Family — Whitcomb Family — John R. 
Whitcomb — Wood Family — Dea. M. E. Wood — 
George C. Wright 195 



Congregational Chukch Frontispiece 

BoxBOROuGH Centre, Town Hall 23 

L. Waldo Bigelow 86 

S UNION Blanchard, Sr 87 

Simon Blanchard, Jr 88 

Leonard Chandler 91 

Luke Blanchard 92 

John and Margaret Blanchard 96 

E. B. Cobleigh 110 

Francis Conant 114 

John Fletcher • . . 119 

George Hager 125 

Benj. S. Hager 127 

Lucie C. Hager 128 

Joel F. Hayward 152 

Jacob Littlefield 159 

Albert Littlefield .162 

Benj. S. Mead 164 

Phinehas Stone 178 

Phinehas J. Stone 180 

Amos Stone 184 

Jonathan Stone 186 

Varnum Taylor 189 

Oliver Wetherbee 199 

A. W. Wetherbee 200 

Martin E. Wood 213 

George C. Wright 215 

The History op^ Boxborough, 







Some one has said, "Time, like distance, lends enchantment to 
the view, and tlie pictures of the past, seen through the mellow 
light of centuries, become soft and beautiful to the sight, like 
the shadowy outlines of far-off mountain peaks, whose jjurple 
heads half hide themselves behind a screen of clouds." The 
men and women who lived, and loved, and labored, and reared 
their homes among these hills and in these valleys, a hundred 
years ago and more, had they been interrogated, would doubt- 
less have replied, as did one of the present citizens when 
questioned with regard to his ancestry, " Oh no, we never did 
anything remarkable, nothing worth}- of notice." And 3'et to us 
of the present day, as we gaze down the vista of the departed 
years, their words and acts are of very great interest and impor- 
tance, and the labors and the toils which to them may have 
seemed to bear such meagre fruitage, are to us, after the lapse 
of more than a century, invested, as it were, with a halo of 

12 Boxhorough : a Neiv Ungland Town and its People. 

We look back still farther into the past, through another 
century or more, and lo ! the red man is lord of all these sunny 
slopes and vales ; and here, wild and free as his own native 
hills, he made the forest his hunting-ground. We are informed 
by early historians that the Ivev. John Eliot of Roxbury visited 
this region some time in the seventeenth century. He was a 
philanthropic man and an earnest Christian. With him came 
General Daniel Gookin, the historian, who had in charge at that 
time, as an agent of the Government, all the Indian tribes in 
Massachusetts. Here they found the chief of the Nashoba 
Indians, John Tokatawan, and the venerable Eliot preached and 
prayed in the open air, and James Speen and his Indian choir 
sang a psalm. But early in the eighteenth century the white 
men sought a place in this region where they might build 
their log huts, found their homes, and rear their families. We 
of today can scarcely realize through what difficulties and 
dangers the first permanent settlements were made. 

Boxborough was formed by taking a portion from three 
adjoining towns, — the largest part from Stow, a smaller portion 
from Littleton, and a piece of Harvard making up the town 
whose outline — until the recent change in the Littleton bound- 
ary — was nearly a square. Previous to 1750 the boundary line 
between Stow and Littleton was near where the present town- 
house stands, running in a south-easterly direction past the 
house now owned and occupied by Mr. E. B. Cobleigh, which 
was then in Stow, and onward to a heap of stones in a field in 
front of Mr. Eurbush's dwelling, thence in the direction of Mr. 
Herbert Blanchard's residence. 

Boxborough, though the smallest town in Middlesex county, 
is yet "beautiful for situation." Erom her lofty hill-tops the 
true lover of nature is never weary of gazing on the panorama 
of beauty which is everywhere spread out before him. Which- 
ever way he turns — north, east, south, or west — pictures of 
rare rural loveliness greet his eye and delight his soul. No 
wonder that her sons and daughters love and are proud of their 
birthplace. Said one of her former residents, as he came up to 
an annual gathering "in the old meeting-house on the hill" 

Scenery and Sitnafkm. 13 

(now the town hall) : " I always feel as if I was nearer Heaven 
Avhen I come np this hill," — words lightly spoken, doubtless, 
and yet they should be true, for surely when one long since 
gone forth from his early home to active, earnest life among 
men returns again and feels his feet pressing once more the 
soil of his own native hills, hallowed by so many happy and 
sacred associations ; when his eyes behold again, as in his youth- 
ful days, the delightful scenery so familiar grown; when his 
hand clasps the hand of neighbor and friend as in early youth, 
and his ears hear as of old the loved voices of his childhood, — 
he may feel more nearly akin to the early days of free-hearted 
innocence and happiness, and therefore "nearer Heaven." 

To the eastward, in the distance, the gleaming church spires 
designate the position of the three Acton villages, while in a 
southerly direction the new citj^ of Marlborough lies quietly 
resting upon her sister liills. Turning toward the western hori- 
zon, Monadnock, Wachusett and other eminences meet the eye, 
while to the north-east, the village spires of Littleton and 
Westford are visible amid the distant trees. 

The residents on the outskirts of the towns mentioned, — 
Stow, Littleton and Harvard, — drawn there probably by the fer- 
tility of the soil, tilled their farms and raised their crops, but 
found themselves subjected to much inconvenience through 
their remoteness from any place of public worship. So they 
formed a society among themselves, purchased the old meeting- 
house in Harvard in 1775, and then petitioned the General 
Court to be set off as a separate town. 

The town is situated in the west central part of Middlesex 
county, and is bounded north by Harvard and Littleton, east 
by Littleton and Acton, south by Stow, and west by Harvard. 
From the assessors' report for the year 1889 we have the follow- 
ing : (3,428 acres of land : total valuation of assessed estate, 
1(246,700 ; polls, 108 ; number of scholars in the public schools, 
G3. According to the census of 1885 the population was 348 ; 
in 1850 it numbered 395 ; and in 1837 the number was 433. 
The number of voters in 1889 was 76 ; in 1834 the number 
was 99. Li 1847 the whole valuation was 1268,913. The 

14 Boxhorovgli : a New England Toivn and its People. 

amount of taxes for 1889 Avas 2,810.71 ; in 1817 the amount 
was 1,299.08. In the town safe, in very good condition, there 
is an outline map on parchment by Silas Holman — scale two 
hundred rods to an inch. His survey was made in 1791, and 
the area given is 7,036 acres and 100 rods. By a com- 
parison of some of the foregoing figures, it \vould seem that the 
town had been slowly losing ground for at least a half century. 
There seem to be good reasons for this. It has been a farming 
community from the first ; but although smallest in population 
of any town in Middlesex county, it yet ranks second only in 
agriculture. The value of its agricultural products in 1885 
was |592,349. But it is situated at a distance from market 
towns and main thorouglifares ; though two busy streams, 
Stony Brook and Assabet river, have their source here, it has 
no water-power of its own by which the many industries of the 
present age are carried forward to so great an extent in other 
places ; it has not the advantage of l)eing a railroad centre. 

The Fitchburg Railroad skirts its eastern l)order, Avith 
stations at both T.ittleton and Acton — a flag station at Hoar's 
Crossing in Boxborough — and that is all ; it was of later 
incorporation than any of the other towns about us. As a farm- 
ing town it began its existence over a century ago, and as such 
it is destined to remain. There is no employment other than 
farming to call in those from without, and lier own sons and 
daughters aie drawn away to other towns and cities in the hope 
of enjoying their greater advantages. A good town for one's 
birthplace ; a good place to begin the culture of those sterling 
qualities which shall grow and increase and actuate in all the 
affairs of after-life. 

As I look at the materials before me for the making of this 
history of Boxborough, gathered in man}^ different ways and 
brought together under various heads and dates, I feel as 
though it would be, at least, a saving of thought and labor, 
could one do what the "projector" in Gulliver's Travels was 
trying to accomplish ; viz., the writing of books of philosophy, 
poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, theology and history (?) 
without any assistance whatever from study or genius, by 

Harvard Meeting-lioiise. 15 

simpl}'' throwing upon a frame all the words of his vocabulary, — 
in the " ordinar}- pi'oportion of verbs, participles, nouns," etc., — 
and then setting his pupils at the work of grinding out the 
various tomes. But upon second thought it would be better, 
doubtless, to classify and bring under the correct dates and 
headings these facts and incidents of early times. 

As we have already remarked, it was for convenience of 
public worship, not the desire for a new town, that first led the 
residents of these remote portions of three other towns to band 
themselves together. The purchase of a church building has 
also been alluded to. In an ancient record purporting to be 
" The Town Book for Births and Deaths and Strays and Poor 
Persons for Boxborough," we find the following : — 

" At a meeting Held on the 31 Day of January, 1775, By 
a Sartain Society part Belonging to Stow and part of Littleton 
and part of Harvard, at the house of En^ Abel Fletcher, in 
order to Erect a meatting-house for the publick worship of 
God — lly. chose Mr. Coolidge Moderator, 2 ly. Chose Mr. 
Bennet Wood of Littleton, and Mr. Joseph Stone of Stow, a 
Committee for purchasing Harvard Old meatting-House. 

A Covenant to indemnify s^ Committee : 

This may certify that we the subscribers Do Covenant and 
engage with Each other that we will pay our subscriptions as 
is hereafter set Down towards purchasing the Old meatting 
hous of Harvard, for which purpose we have chosen Mr. Bennet 
Wood of Littleton and Mr. Joseph Stone of Stow to Represent 
and act for us at a vandue in order for Sail of si House on the 
Second Day of February next and Do engage hereby to fulfill 
according as they the s^ Bennet Wood and Joseph Stone Shall 
bid or otherwaj's agre at a^ vandue, in testimony thereof we Do 
hereunto set our hands this 31 Day of January, 1775. 

Silas Wetherbee . . One-quarter part. 

Edward Brown . . One-sixteenth part. 

£ s. d. 

Joseph Stone . . . . .200 
Samuel Wetherbee . . . .300 

16 Boxhorougli 


Phinehas Wetlierbee 
Abel Fletclier 
Reuben Wetheibee . 
John Taylor 
Epliraim Whitconib 
Oliver Taylor 
Solomon Taylor 
Henry Coolidge 
Levi Wetlierbee 
James Whitcomb, 
Abel Whitcomb 
Boston Draper 
Lieut. Daniel Wetlierbee 

Edward Wetherbee, 2,000 of shingles, 
adjourn to meatting hous Spot/' 

Then the society met and voted to accept the Committee's 
report, and farther "voted to take down s^ Old meatting liouse 
and move it to the spot agreed upon By s'^ Society and Kaise 
the Same." Mr. Silas Wetherbee is recorded as making a 
present to the society of three acres of land " for the use of a 
meatting hous Lot." Record is also made of the pecuniary 
aid rendered by each member of the new society, and of the 
Avork performed upon the newly ].)urchased house of worship. 
Nov. 25, 1776, the society "voted to Except of the Report of 
Examine accounts for work done 

nd I own and its 






. 1 



. 1 


. 1 














. 1 


of shingles. 31 


Voted to 

the Committee Chosen 
which is as followeth : 


Daniel Wetherbee . 
Abel Fletcher 
Epliraim Whitcomb 
Samuel Wetherbee 
James Whitcomb, Jr, 
Abel Whitcomb 
Phinehas Wetherbee 
Henry Cooleclge 
Bennet Wood 

£ s. 



. 26 17 



17 12 



25 13 



19 7 



26 17 






12 12 


9 15 



31 13 



Petition, to General Court. 17 

Oliver Taylor 
Solomon Taylor 
Boston Draper 

















Old ten. 

We the subscribers Being appointed a Committee to Ex- 
amine the accounts of the Society of Stow, Littleton, and 
Harvard have accordingly Examined the Same and we find 
Due for Each man above Named to pay the sum as set against 
his Name in the List above written." 

hi 1777, November 24, the society again met and "voted 
to chuse a Committee to Petition the General Cort to Sett of 
s'i Society," and they accordingly chose Silas Taylor, James 
Whitcomb and Bennet Wood a committee for this purpose. 
The new society seems to have been unsuccessful in their 
efforts in this direction at the first, but committees were 
repeatedly chosen from among her citizens to present the 
petition to the General (~!ourt, and June 14, 1779, they voted 
to apply to ]Mr. Francis Dana, attorney, — of whom Hon. 
Richard H. Dana was a grandson, — <•' to Carry on our 
Memorialist Petition and Present it to the General Court, and 
voted ^100 for that purpose." But the attorney's efforts, 
even, must have failed, or the $100 was too small a sum to 
attract him to the cause for a sufficient length of time, for 
during tlie next four, years the names of committees from 
among the citizens are often recorded. In 1780, when a 
committee was again chosen to apply to the General Court to 
be set off, they also voted " to chuse a committee to treat with 
the obstinate part of Our Society in Littleton." The " obstinate 
party " is referred to again a little later. It is not strange 
that the towns called upon to jdeld up a part of their own 
territory to form a new town should make objection, but there 
is no record of any demur on the part of either Stow or 
Harvard. Littleton seems to have been opposed to the tran- 
saction from the beginning. Three times more — December, 
1780, January, 1782, and January 21, 1783 — the same petition 
is presented to the General Court, and at last, after a six 

18 Boxhoroiigh : a JVew England Town and its People. 

years' struggle, on the 24th of Februaiy, 1783, the pe- 
tition is granted. The following is a copy of the Act of 
Incorporation : 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the year of Our Lord One Thousand 
Seven Hundred and Eighty-three. — An Act for Erecting a District in 
tlie County of Middlesex by the name of Boxborougli. 
Whereas a number of Inhabitants living in the Extreme Parts of the 
Towns of Stow, Harvard and Littleton, Labour under many Inconveniences 
by Reason of their grate distance from any Place of Publick Worship and 
have Requested this Court that they May be Incorporated into a District 
with all the Privileges of a town, that of sending a Representative to the 
General Court Excepted — Be it therefore Enacted by the Senate and House 
of Representatives in General Court Assembled, and by the Authority of the 
same, That a Part of Stow, a Part of Harvard and a Part of Littleton, all 
which are Included within the Boundarys following, viz : Beginning at the 
Road Southerly of John Robins' Buildings, and Running Southerly in Acton 
line to a Place called Flag hill, being two miles, three-quarters and ten rods 
to a heap of Stones; from thence Westerly in Stow, Two miles and a quar- 
ter to a Stake and Pillar of Stones in the Harvard Line, then turning 
Northerly through part of Harvard to a white oak tree by a Causeway; from 
thence to the Place first Set out from, be and hereby is incorporated into a 
District by the Name of Boxborough. And all the Polls and Estates that 
are Included within the said Boundaries shall belong to the said District, 
Except those of such of the Inhabitants of that Part Set off from Littleton 
as Shall not, within the Term of twelve months from the Passing of this act 
Return their Names into the office of the Secretary of this Common-wealth, 
Signifying their Desire to become Inhabitants of the said District. And be 
it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that the said District be and 
hereby is invested with all the Powers, Privileges and Immunities that 
Towns in this Common-wealth do or may Injoy, Except the Privilege of 
Sending a Representative to the General Court, and the Inhabitants of the 
said District Shall have leave, from time to time, to join with the Town of 
Stow in Choosing a Representative, and shall be notified of the Time and 
Place of Election in Like manner with the Inhabitants of the said Town of 
Stow by a Warrant from the Selectmen of the said Town to a Constable or 
Constables of the said District, Requiring him or them to warn the Inhabi- 
tants to attend the meeting at the time and Place appointed, which warrant 
shall be Seasonably Returned by the said Constable or Constables of the 
said District, and the Representative may be Chosen Indifferently from the 
said Town or District, the Pay or allowance to be borne by the town and 
District in Proportion as they shall, from time to time. Pay to the State Tax ; 
and be it further Enacted that Jonathan Wood, Esq., of Stow, be and hereby 
is impowered to Issue this Warrant, directed to some Principal Inhabitant 
within the said District, Requiring him to warn the Inhabitants of the said 
District, Qualified to vote in Town affairs, to assemble at some Suitable time 
and Place in the said District to Chuse Such officers as Towns and Districts 

Act of Incoiyoration. 19 

are required to Chuse in the month of March annually, Provided, Neverthe- 
less, that the Inhabitants of the said District Shall Pay their Proportionable 
Part of all Such Town, County and State Taxes as are already assessed by 
the said Respective Towns from which they are taken, and their proportion- 
able part of all Publick Debts Due from the said Towns, and also Provide 
for the Support of all the Poor who were Inhabitants within the said Dis- 
trict before the passing of this Act, and shall be Brought back for main- 
tenance Hereafter, And whereas it is fit and Necessary that the whole of 
the said District should belong to one and the same County, be it therefore 
further Enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that that Part of the said 
District which is set off from the Town of Harvard, in the County of 
Worcester, shall be and hereby is annexed and sei to the County of Middle- 
sex, and the line established by this act as the Boundaries betwixt the said 
Town of Harvard and the said District, shall hereafter be the boundary Line 
betwixt the said County of Middlesex and the said County of Worcester. 

This instrument bears the signatures of Samuel Adams, 
president of the Senate, and John Hancock, Governor. 

20 Boxhorouf/h : a JVew Utu/Iand Town and its People. 





Accordingly, Jonathan Wood, Justice of the Peace of Stow, 
issued the warrant — notifying and warning all voters to assem- 
ble at the meeting-house that they might perfect their organiza- 
tion by the election of the customary officers — to Bennet 
Wood, one of the principal inhabitants of the new District of 
Boxborough. To the people of today the officers chosen and the 
offices filled, on that 10th of March, 1783, may not be 
without interest, and we give them entire. Jonathan Wood, 
Esq., presided as moderator. 

Capt. Silas Taylor was chosen clerk of the District ; Capt. 
Silas Taylor, Silas Wetherbee, Ens. Abel Fletcher, Lieut. 
James Whitcomb, Lieut. Ephraim Whitcomb, selectmen ; Capt. 
Phinehas Taylor, treasurer; Capt. Silas Taylor, Abel Wliit- 
comb, Lieut. Ephraim Whitcomb, assessors ; Joseph Howe, 
Lieut. James Whitcomb, Bennet Wood, constables ; Bennet 
Wood, Paul Hay ward, wardens ; Judah AVetherbee, Capt. Eleazer 
Fletcher, tithing-men ; Oliver Mead, Ephraim Taylor, Bennet 
Wood, Oliver Taylor, highway surveyors and collectors ; 
Oliver Wood, sealer of leather; Edward Brown, Thomas Law- 
rence, fish-reeves ; Capt. Phinehas Taylor, Lieut. Nehemiah 
Batchellor, deer-reeves ; Joseph Raymond, Boston Draper, hog- 
reeves ; Richard Wetherbee, Ebenezer Phillips, fence-viewers ; 
Phinehas Wetherbee, Ephraim Wetlierbee, firewards ; Jonathan 
Wetherbee, Joseph Sawyer, field-drivers ; Edward Brown, 

Boundary Troubles. 21 

Solomon Taj-lor, surveyors of boards and shingles ; Jonathan 
Wood, justice of the peace. 

From time to time other oificers were chosen, as pound- 
keeper, surveyor of luml)er, hoops and staves, vendue-master, 
sexton, etc. 

The disinclination, on the part of Littleton, towards the new 
district, was a dilificulty which did not seem to adjust itself in 
later years, and down through the century, even to the present 
time, the disagreement may be traced. There was a great deal 
of trouble about the boundaries, although they were described 
and estaljlished by the letter of the act of incorporation already 
given. All the polls and estates within the given limits were 
to belong to the new district except those of such of the inhabi- 
tants set off from Littleton as should not return their names to 
the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth within a year 
from the passing of the act. So although the boundary was 
designated between Littleton and Boxborough, the people of the 
Littleton part were left to go or come - — as they chose — to pay 
their taxes to the mother town as before, although residents of 
the new district. The towns were continually in trouble over 
the boundary line. It was at last referred to the General 
Court, and an act fixing the boundary was passed February 20, 
179-4:. This act also gave permission to those of Littleton who 
had not returned their names, ^' their polls and their estates," 
who still voted and were assessed in Littleton, "to belong to 
said Littleton " so long as this state of things continued ; that 
such persons might at any time apply to said Boxborough to 
become members thereof, and, upon vote of her inhabitants, be 
accepted as citizens of Boxborough, with their polls and estates. 

In 1791 the district voted to invite all within the bounds of 
Boxborough who had not joined with the said town to become 
members of the same. And they came from time to time, until 
there were only two farms — those of H. T. Taylor and David 
Hall — which were still assessed in Littleton in 1889. Edmund 
Lawrence's estate was accepted April 6, 1807, widow Rachel 
Cobleigh's property, May 27, 1818, and George Jeffon's estate, 
April 2, 1821. In 1827 the town voted to choose a committee 

22 Boxhorongh : a New England Town and its People. 

to convei-se with all those who still paid their taxes in Littleton, 
though within the bounds of Boxborough, to see if they would 
not in future attach themselves to their own town ; and April 
24 of that year five (the largest number at any one time) 
signified their desire to become inhabitants of Boxborough, and 
were transferred to said town ; viz., John Hoar, John Blanchard, 
Simon Blanchard, Mrs. Abigail Blanchard and Moses Whit- 
comb. Two more, Carshena Wood and Mrs. Lucy Wood, came 
May 23, 1831, and one more, Isaac Patch, April 2, 1838. 
Measures were taken in 1890 to see if the taxes of the remaining 
two farms might not be required to revert to the town to which 
the estates belonged. The petition to the Legislature failed, 
however, and Littleton having filed a counter-petition, praying 
for a new boundary between the said towns, their petition was 
granted, and a bill, according with it, passed. The new line 
between the two towns leaves the greater part of the farms, 
with their buildings, in Littleton, so that the question of trans- 
fer is no longer possible and the difficulty is settled once 
for all. 

The boundaries on the Harvard and Stow sides are probably 
somewhat changed ; that toward Acton seems to be the same 
and the south-east corner, on Flagg's Hill, appears to be 
unaltered. The boundary on the Littleton side, as we have 
said, although the source of much dispute and threatened prose- 
cution, was finally fixed by act of the Legislature in 1890. No 
definite descriptions of the corner bounds and boundary lines 
are recorded whereby we can mark the exact changes; the 
bounds themselves — heaps of stones, stakes, trees — are objects 
which the vicissitudes of a hundred years might well render 
uncertain, and now the}^ cannot be determined with any degree 
of accuracy. 

It is interesting to follow the working of the newly 
organized district and to note that which seemed most to 
occupy their hands and hearts. So far as we can judge from 
the records left us, after having thrown in their lot together 
each one worked for the common good. Destined never to 
become a large town, its citizens gave to it, and found in it, 

< f- 

_ (0 

£. u 

O iE 

CO a. 

< 2 

Q -> 

_l • 

u s 

I 5 


I -: 
O d 

> 5 

i i 

Gift of Toirn Hall. 23 

whatever of active, energetic enterprise it possessed. The 
warrants for the early town-meetings are full of articles for 
action, touching the church, the school and the highway, — 
■three of the most important factors in the common town or 
state life, for without religion at the outset, the foundation 
must have been unstable ; without education the future 
processes of self-government, personal and general development 
in intelligen(!e and strength, must have halted ; and without 
communication with the outside world, common interchange 
of ideas and methods, and also transportation, would have been 
at a standstill. The citizens of the district seem to have, been 
much interested in these things at the very first. The meeting- 
house was the place not only for holding the religious 
gatherings of the people, but also for all town-meetings until 
1835, and in April of that year they assembled at Bigelow's 
Hall, situated directly opposite. Early this year they "voted 
to build Town Hall under the contemplated New meeting- 
house on the Common, and voted to raise f 250 to build the 
same,'' and then a reaction came and they " voted to reconsider " 
their vote. In iNIarch of the same year they voted to build a 
town-house on the old Common and voted to raise I'lOO for the 
same, and again the reaction came and they reconsidered the 
vote ; but later in the season a town hall was built near the 
southern end of the Common and opened for use in October, 
1835. This remained until 1874. Early in 1870 they voted 
to "examine Town Hall," and also chose a committee to see if 
the Universalist meeting-house " on the hill " could be procured 
for a town hall. This was found by the committee to be 
impracticable at that time, and the town voted to enlarge and 
thoroughly repair the old hall. But in November of that year 
a committee was again chosen to confer with regard to obtain- 
ing the old church for town use, and in December, 1870, the 
town " voted to accept the Report of Committee," and "voted to 
accept the meeting-house as a gift from a majority of the pew 
owners." They immediately went to work to make the needed 
alterations and repairs and to furnish in a neat and comfortable 
manner for the transaction of town business. When the old 

24 Boxhor'ovgh : a New England Town and its People. 

Puritan Church of one hundred years ago was divided in 1829, 
the Universalist Society, as it was tliereafter called, retained 
possession of the old church. This society after a time discon- 
tinued their meetings, the house was closed, and in 1870, as 
before stated, was presented to the town for a town-house. The 
old hall was sold at auction in 1874 to H. E. Felch, and was 
subsequently torn down. 

In the early part of Boxborough's history, there seem to 
have been a great many extra meetings for town, or district 
purposes rather, — the words town and district being used inter- 
changeably all through the records, — questions with regard to 
the church and church property, schools, roads, disposition of 
poor, boundaries, town buildings, town prosecutions and the 
like. They discussed the questions and voted pro and con, and 
considered and reconsidered these local items as only men inter- 
ested in the true welfare of tlie town would have done. But 
they seem at times to have arisen to that pitch of earnestness 
and enthusiasm where their " No " was no, and their " Yes," 
yes, irrevocably. 

A perusal of old writings brings some minor items to light, 
like the following, which may interest the rising generation if 
no other: — In 1789, Wm. McKay, convicted of swearing one 
(or more ) " profain oaths," paid a line of six shillings, and such 
fines were not infrequent. They were careful to guard the 
morals of the young. An incident is told of an old resident 
which illustrates tliis. He had been trying to impress upon his 
son the importance of temperance in speech, and at the close of 
the lesson, — " I swear if you swear, I '11 whip you," said the old 
man emphatically. Unique auctioneer's licenses are recorded : 
— " We the Subscribers, Selectmen of the Town of Boxborough, 
at a meeting holden for the purpose, have licensed and do here- 
by Licence Major Eph™ Taylor of s^ Boxborough to sell at 
public Vendue or ( )utcry any Goods or Chatties whatsoever, 
pursuant to a law of the Commonwealth, passed June the 16, 
1795." Boys were often bound out to service by vote of the 
town, for exanqjle, in 1807 they "voted to bind David Green 
to Christopher Page to learn the carpenter's trade upon the 

Road-making. 25 

same terms respecting clotliing and scliooling as though he staid 
with his old master." 

In 1837 the town " voted to allow a bounty of twenty cents 
each on Crows young and old taken in the limits of Boxbo rough 
between April and November" and granted one hundred dol- 
lars for the purpose. It was voted in 1838 "to have the bell 
rung at nine o'clock in the evenings each day in the year 
(Sundays excepted) five minutes at a time."' Doubtless in our 
forefathers' time this was a reminder to have " all the children 
in." Nowadays such a note pealing out over these hills and 
valleys would pemaps be more likely to find the people of all 
ages just gathering together. 

The old town folk evinced a good deal of interest in the 
highways, and roads were laid out here and there and accepted 
from time to time ; but the vague descriptions, vivid as they 
may have seemed then, leave us in obscurity as to their exact 
trend. The next year after the incorporation of the district, 
in 1784, several highways were laid out; in 1785 the town 
voted fifty pounds to repair highways, and the following year 
an appropriation was also made. And so on down through 
her history, such items as the laying out of roads, acceptance or 
rejection of them as the case might demand, appropriations, 
setting up guide posts or building walls, are frequent. In the 
early days each poll worked out his highway tax ; in 1791 it 
was voted, "that Every Ratiable Pole shall work on the County 
Road one Day this year." Record is made showing that some 
of the roads were mere Inidle-paths at first ; in 1790 the town 
"voted to accept the Bridle road," and in 1819 "Gave an order 
to Prince J. Chester, it being in full for a road or Bridle way 
through his land." Some were private or lialf-private ways, as 
we find such entries as these: 1814. "Voted to shut up the 
road through D" Jacob Fairbanks' land for one year if D" Jacob 
Fairbanks will cause a road to be opened that will commode the 
town as well." In 1815 " Committee report they are dissatisfied 
with a road fenced out as it cuts them off from water, but are 
willing that Mr. Sargent should have a road with two gates, which 
the}' will agree to support one." In 1814 a vote was passed "to 

2C) J3n.rl)or<ui;/h : a New EnjJaiid Totrn and its Pejple. 

kce}) the Turn-})ike road in repair as far as it lies in Boxborougli 
for one year, provided the Corporation will admit the inhabi- 
tants of said Boxborougli passing the gates toll free." This 
same " Boston Road " or "the old turnpike " as it is now called, 
was laid out through the southerly part of the town from Har- 
vard to Acton, and is the main thoi'oughfare. We find what 
answers to the same road on Silas Holman's map of 1704. It 
was accepted in 1806 as the " Union Turnpike " by the Court 
of General Sessions of the Peace, at its September term. In 
1830 a petition was sent in to the county commissioners, and 
April 7 of that year the Union Turn[)ike, so far as it lies in 
the county of Middlesex, was declared a public highway, the 
town granting #300 for repairs. The road over the hill, east of 
Guggin's Brook, was discontinued in 1868. 

The Fitchburg Railroad, which was opened in 184.5, skirts 
along the level, northeastern border of the town for quite a dis- 
tance. Whether or no this new invention was hailed by the 
farmers with delight, or whether they considered it an intrusion 
upon their sacred solitudes, and a trespass on their farming 
rights, history tells us not. At any rate, no mention is made 
of a desire for a station until a special town-meeting in June, 
1840, when they "voted to choose a committee to petition the 
President and Directors of the Fitchburg Railroad for a depot 
or stopping-place in the town of Boxborougli, near tlie house of 
Mr. John Hoar." The petition was not granted. During the 
years of Avhich we have been speaking. West Acton had been 
growing up and had become a thriving village. Nov. 30, 1868, 
record is made of tlie ado})tion of the following resolution : 
" Resolved that the town of Boxborougli unite with that part 
of Acton called West Acton in the formation of a new town." 
The votes upon the resolution stood 49 to 11 in favor of the 
new town and a committee was chosen and instructed to use 
ever}^ effort in the annexation of Boxborough and West Acton, 
but the scheme planned to benefit both town and village for 
some reason failed. In 1873 another petition was sent to the 
Fitchburg Railroad Company for a station, but this also failed. 
The station for Boxborough is one with that of West Acton, 

Becominfj a Toion. 27 

" West Acton and Boxborough " being the name given to it. 
West Acton is also the post-office, and the nearest business point 
for Boxborough, although for a small part of the town AVest 
Littleton is more convenient. 

The record of Presidential votes shows that, for many years, 
the town was pretty evenly divided as to its political sym[)a- 
thies, with a sliglit leaning to the Democratic side. In more 
recent years the lines dividing politics and religion have grown 
less marked, until they have somewhat nearly coincided. The 
records speak of Boxl)orough as both town and district through- 
out the early years, and we have done the same in order better 
to represent them ; but strictly speaking Boxborough was a 
district until May 1, 1836, when it became a town, not l)}- any 
special act of the Legislature, but under a clause of the Revised 
Statutes oi that year. But in the November following it still 
voted wdth Stow for representative to the General Court, so 
that, if this date be the correct one it did not at once enter into 
its full privilege as a town. In the more recent years of the 
Representative union, when sending two representatives it wa> 
customary to send one from Stow and one from Boxborougli. 
Record of the votes was alwa3^s made at Stow only. 

28 Boxhonnigli : a Neiv England Ton^n and its People. 





Boxborough's military history must necessarily be somewhat 
brief, as, not having been incorporated until 1783, she has no 
Colonial or Revolutionary record of lier own. But, like some 
other towns not having a record of their own because not incor- 
poi-ated at the time, and therefore swelling the record of some 
neighl)oring town or towns, so Boxborough has a 7'eal though 
not a sepai-ate record of the Revolution with Acton and the 
neighboring towns. In this connection we would pay a passing 
tribute to tlie memory of Luther Blanchard, who, together Avith 
his brother Calvin, joined the Acton Company, and was the first 
man to shed his blood at the fight at Concord Bridge. The old 
homestead and family estates were within the limits of Littleton 
(that part which is now Boxborough), and the descendants still 
own and occupy them. Luther is said to have been ^'a favorite 
young man, tall, straight, handsome and athletic." At the 
time of the Concord fight he was learning the mason's trade of 
Abner Hosmer, who resided on the Herman A. (iould place in 
Acton. I quote from the centennial speech of a grandson of 
Calvin Blanchard, — the late Joseph K. Blanchard of this town: 
" The neighboring town of Acton had formed a company of 
minute-men to be ready at a minute's notice to meet the British 
soldiers ; Calvin and Luther Blanchard of Boxborough were 
members of this company. These brotliers inherited the spirit 
of patriotism from their father, who was killed at the Heights 
of Qvu'])cc. This company of men liad pledged tliemselves to 

Liithcr Blanchard. 29 

stand by each other in resisting the British foe. On the morn- 
ing of the Nineteeth of Aprih 1775. word came to Acton that the 
British sohhers were en route for Coiicoid. 'J'liis company of min- 
nte-men were quickly assembled on the Acton Common, with 
Calvin Blanchard for orderly-sergeant and Luther Blanchard as 
fifer. As there was a little delay here, and the soldiers were 
anxious to meet the enemy, l^uther Blanchard struck up ' Tlie 
White Cockade." and then Capt. Davis started off, saying to 
his men that if any of them were afraid to follow him they 
might go home. When they reached the old noith l)ridge 
at Concord, the British were already on tlie point of coming 
over to this side to destroy stores of the Colonists on this side 
the river. The officer in command asked for volunteers to meet 
the foe. Capt. Davis, knowing liis men, said, ' I have not a 
man who is afraid to go.' As they advance to meet tlie British, 
they receive their fire and Luther Iilanchard is the first n)an 
wounded. The Captain then asked if they iiied l)a]ls. ' Ves,* 
was tlie reply, 'for Luther Blanchard is wounded.'" He went 
into the house of Mrs. Barrett, close In, In ha\e the wound 
dressed. " A little more and you 'd have been killed," said 
Ah's. Barrett, mournfully. •' Yes, and a little more and it would 
not have touched me," replied Blanchard, brightly, and hastened 
to join his comrades. The wound appeared slight, but he died 
three days later in consequence of it. His body was biought to 
J>,ittleton and laid in the old cemetery there. IVxhiy the spot is 
unmarked and unknown. 

In 1787, the town voted to "Provide Stock of Powder and 
Leds, also flint," which were kept in a magazine, provided for 
the purpose, under the stairs in the meeting-house ; and record 
is also made of muster-days and the ordinary military oi-ganiza- 
tions, but nothing more of importance until August 18, 1794, 
when they called a special town-meeting, '• to see what the town 
will do about raising the eight men, in compliance with the 
request of Congress, and give any instructions to Capt. Whit- 
comb about the same." They voted '' to give some incoragment to 
the men that shall list as soldiers, and voted that each man that 
lists as a soldier aoreeable to Resolves of Cono-i-ess Sjiall have 

80 Boxhoroui/Ji : a New Ewihind Town ainJ its People. 

the publick pay as wages made u}) hy the Town ; to each man 
the sum of Two pounds, Eight shillings pr. nionth for the time 
they serve in the array ; and that they shall have six shillings 
in part of their pay paid them when they do List and ingage if 
they do not march out of Town, and the sum of eighteen shil- 
lings more when they march in order to join the army." 
Three years later, in October, 1T1>7, at another special meeting 
they '•'• Voted to give the Soldiers one Dollar each to engage, to 
give the men ten dollars each at marcliing, and to make their 
wages equal to laboring men the time they are in the service, 
including the ten dollars above mentioned and Government 
pay." In 1800 they voted ^^ that Each soldier that goes to the 
review at (Concord and does his duty shall have one dollar for 
tlie two days service and 1-2 lb. of })owder for each soldier." 
The town was again called on for men in 1(812 and 1814, and 
bounties were offered; viz.: In 1(S12. '' \'()ted to make up the 
Soldiers -tlO per month when they are called into actual service, 
:ind two dollars a day when called out of Town, and to receive 
it before they march into actual Service or when desmissed." 
In 1814, '• \'()t('d to make uj) tlic soldiers J|18 per month with 
the national [)ay and five dollars bounty if they volunteer their 
services." The town abated the taxes of her s(_)ldiers while in 
the service. In 1882, it is recorded that the town ^' voted to 
authorize the Treasurer to })ay the amount of their Poll I'axes 
to each of the training Soldiers who ke})t themselves uniformed 
and e(]uii)ped and performed all Military duty recpured of 
tliem." With the cxcc[)tion of nnistcr-days and militia-rolls, 
notliing further is recorded until the late War of tlie Rebellion. 
Tlicrc were no town-meetings held until July 28, 1862, 
when they ''voted to pay bounty to live persons that will 
volunteer to go to war, voted 'tlOO to eacli of the five, and 
immediately voted -fS each to those who will enlist within 
three days *and be accepted." August 28, " \'oted town pay 
bounty of 'tlOO to those who will volunteer to lill town's quota 
of nine months men. to six or seven, whichever it may be." 
In October of the same year the town voted -^150 to each 
(h'afted man, and also to each volunteei'. '^euough to lill our 

NanwH of Soldiers. 31 

call," to be piiid after they were mustered into service. .\ mouth 
later the same bouuty was exteuded to the substitutes of 
drafted men. 

The highest l)()uuly offered was Septeml)er 10, 1S()4. when 
the town "Voted to })ay ¥125 iu Gold to each recruit t(» till 
the town's quota." The advance of gold was from So to 1()5 
during that month, so that, even at an average, the bounty was 
a large one. The young men of Boxborough responded 
willingly to their country's call, and •• five persons came for- 
ward and enlisted" at one time. Of the fifty-one men — seven 
more than reipiired — furnished by the town, none were com- 
missioned officers. AVe quote the following from Schouler's 
'"Massachusetts in the Civil War": '' The whole amount of 
the money appropriated and expended l)y the town for war 
l)urposes, exclusive of State aid, was 'ii<T04H.87. The ainoniit 
of money raised and expended by the town during the war for 
State aid to soldiers' families, and which Ava;s repaid by the 
Commonwealth, was •^1847.;");). About ■1f20() was raised by the 
ladies of the town for the Christian Connnission." 

We give below names of the soldiers who went from l^ox- 
borough to take part in the War of the Rel)ellion, so fai as we 
are able to give them : 

Messrs. Samuel Burroughs, E. I^. Battles, James Bryant, 
E. D. Battles, ]\lonroe Clement, (ieorge Draper, Wm. Edwai-ds, 
Ivuther H. Ewings, Lucius Holden, Charles Jenkings, A. A. 
Richardson, S. E. Smiley, Paul Hayward, George Sargent, 
Waldo Littleheld, .John Fletcher, Peter W. H. Perry, F. II. 
Stevens, 'J'im. L. Wood, Abraham Kodgers, A. W. Wetherbee, 
James H. Whitcomb, John Griffin, Joseph Moren, Wm. F. 
Stevens, A. G. Whitcomb, Alonzo M. Woodward. 

Of these. George Sargent and Luther H. Ewings weie 
wounded; Alonzo ^l. Woodward died Oct. 6, 1862, at Suffolk, 
Va., of fever; John Fletcher was killed at the battle of 
Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; and James H. Whitcomb 
died at Cotton Wood Springs, Neb., of typhoid fever, Aug. 
31, 1865. 

82 Boxhorough : a New En<ilmid Town and its People. 

We come now to the history of our public schools. Box- 
borough has never enjoyed the advantage of either an academy 
or high school within her own boundaries, although her sons 
and daughters have reaped the benefits of the higher institu- 
tions of learning of other towns or cities near or far. The 
town fathers evidently had the cause of education at heart, for 
in the town warrant, Sept. 22, 1783 — the same year of her 
incorporation — we find this article : *' To see what the town 
^\ ill do about Providing School this Present Year and act any- 
thing they Shall Think Proper when met; " and when legally 
met they '' voted to have four months' schooling this year and 
voted that the Selectmen provide and proportion the same."' 
The •' })roportion "" seems to refer not to different sections of the 
town, but to the boys and girls who appear to have been edu- 
cated separately for some time, as in 1787 money Avas appro- 
priated for '■'• four months of man's scliool, and four months of 
Woman's Scliool." 

At the 80th of August meeting, 1784. it was decided not 
oidy to have '* four months of Woman's School," but also " to 
have a school-master six months," the town thus charging 
themselves with deciding as to whether a gentleman or lady 
should be the instructor of their yonth. But in 1794 they 
transferred the grave responsibility to the shoulders of a com- 
mittee, who should "j>rovide A: hire a school-master or mas- 
ters and mistress or mistresses as shall be most convenient for 
the town's good." Also, this year, the boys and girls shared 
equally in the ten months' schooling, as a})pears from the vote 
for "five months of man's school and five months of women's 
school." From 1788 to 17i>4 the selectmen seem to have liad 
charge of the schools. In that year a special committee was 
appointed, but it was not until a number of years later, in 1820, 
that the School Committee's ofitice became an established fact. 
In the mean time the schools were often in charge of the select- 
men, as at the first. 

Work in the school in the days of " auld lang s^ne," in 
Boxborough, was evidently not as popular as in many schools 
todav, for, in 1794, action was taken to the effect that " no 

Pay of Tcacherx and Divm<m <>f Tok'h. 83 

\\()rk should be done in or at the woman's school, as there 
usually hath bin ; but the time to be spent in instructing the 
children to Read and Avright." Xo special record is made of 
teachers' wages in those early days. In 1783 there was "voted 
and granted the Sum of 24 lbs. to pay town debts and school- 
ing; " and in 1787 the sum of fifteen pounds was granted for 
" schooling " alone. A few entries such as these would seem 
to indicate such Avages as would be no great tem[)tation to the 
teacher of the present day. 

Xo doubt the pay of the Boxborougli tcat-hers i-om[)ared 
favorably with that of surrounding towns, and in some of these, 
one hundred years ago, the school-master received ¥2 per week, 
A\here now he requires •'i'lO or •'!!20 for the same service. We 
do not know if there was even a school-house in the new dis- 
trict at the time of its incorporation, in 1788, although rumor 
says there was such a Ijuilding many years ago situated upon 
"• Liberty Square," the common in front of Mr. Henry T. Tay- 
lor's present residence. This same Liberty Square is said to 
have been noted as a gathering place for amusement on the 
Fourth of July and election days. Some seventy years ago the 
people celebrated the national independence l)y raising a liberty 
pole 100 feet high and providing a dinner free for all. The 
voice of the cannon spoke of freedom and independence to all 
around, and various amusements rendered the day pleasurable. 
But to return, it is suggested that the children may have all 
come together to one school until 1786, when it was voted "to 
choose a c-ommittee to divide the town into quarters, that each 
may build them a school-house if they please " But the 
committee for some leason failed in the performance of this 
duty, for in the latter part of 1790 a new committee was 
invested with power for the work and instructed to " accom- 
plish the business," which was done and the report made in 
March. 1791. The division of the town into quarters, as then 
made, with slight variations, has always remained. The number 
of districts has continued "the same, although efforts were made 
in 181<), and again in 1842, to reduce it to three. Convenience 
of families and equalization of district taxes have caused some 

34 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

slight changes in the boundaries. Unsuccessful efforts have 
also been made, from time to time, as they have grown smaller, 
to reduce the number of schools to one or two. 

No great difference is observable in the location of school- 
buildings. The greatest change seems to be in the Northeast 
or No. 3 District, whose building is now more centrally situated 
at the intersection of several roads. The Southeast or No. 4 
house has also undergone a slight change of location. A vote 
was passed in 1790 to build a school-house or houses, and again 
in 1791 to build three houses, and the sum of forty-five pounds 
was granted for the purpose. It is probable that the South- 
west District, No. 1, had already reared their . educational 
structure, as only three houses are spoken of at this juncture, 
for which the sum of forty-five pounds was to be equally 
divided, and as special provision was made that the First District 
should receive their part of the money. Reference is continually 
made to items of business in connection with the building of 
these school-houses until toward the close of the century, and it 
is probable that they were not all fully completed before 
that time. 

In 1807 an appropriation was made by the town to build a 
school-house in the Northwest quarter, No. 2, in room of one 
burnt, and the next year the district itself voted a sum of 
money for the same purpose. There is no further record until 
1843, when a house was built in No. 3 District. Separate 
schools for boys and girls ai-e last mentioned in 1797. Beyond 
a few items, such as the condition of the schools, money appro- 
priated each year, committees chosen, questions concerning 
redistricting the town, or settlement of l)ounds requiring the 
occasional transfer of an estate, there is nothing more of interest 
until 1840. In 1813, '14, '16, '25, '29, '42, 'Q6, and '77 
various appropriations are made for singing-schools. 

A hundred years ago $60 was the amount paid for building 
a school-house ; now, twenty-five times that sum would, per- 
haps, be deemed no more than sufficient. The methods of 
teaching have greatly changed, also, since those early days. The 
essential elements have always been the " three R"s — Reading, 

Methods of Teaching and RejyorU. 35 

'Riting and 'Rithmetic," — but the methods of instruction in 
these branches have widely changed. We quote from the 
Centennial speech of Mr. George F. Conant, a former superin- 
tendent of our pul)lic schools, upon this subject : " Reading- 
then meant a drawling drill in the alphabet and its combina- 
tions, a-b, ab ; e-b, eb ; o-b, ob, etc ; our childi-en are now in- 
ducted at once into the reading of words, and led on, by easy 
gradations, through selections from the best masters of English 
prose and verse. .Writing then involved a long preliminary 
struggle Avith pot-hooks and trammels ; now the child is taught 
to read and write script from the outset. Arithmetic was then 
a sealed science beyond the Rule of Three — even the master 
was not required to have explored farther ; now a child of ten 
or twelve years is expected to have reached that ultimatum. 
Mental arithmetic was a thing unknown. Grammar was then 
a tedious task, encumbered with the six Latin cases, and num- 
l)erless unintelligible rules. Our boys and girls, with their 
' Language Lessons,' half work, half play, little know what 
their fore-fathers endured. Perhaps none of our text-books 
have changed more than the geographies. This is strikingly 
apparent in a comparison of maps of the different dates. Central 
Asia was terra incognita. Africa consisted of a narrow strip 
along the sliores, surrounding the great unknown ; as for 
Australia and the isles of the sea, they were not ; our own 
country west of the Ohio was an impenetrable forest and howl- 
ing wilderness." Modes of discipline have also changed, and 
the famous '• l)irchen rod " is a thing of the past. 

The first report of schools is recorded in 1840. Number of 
scholars, 92 in summer, 143 in winter. Length of schools : in 
summer, 11 months; in winter, 10 3-4 months. "Number of 
teachers : in summer, 4 females ; in winter, 4 males." Average 
wages per month, including board : females, $9.50 ; males, •|«24. 
The school year was divided into two terms at this time, but 
later, as the terms were lengthened, it became the custom to 
have three, which is the present arrangement. The schools 
liave now grown considerably smaller. The district system, 
wliieh had [prevailed so long, was abolislied February 28, 1867, 

36 Boxhorovgh : a Neiv England Town and its People. 

by vote of the town. The Superintending School Committee first 
received pa^^ for their services in 1842. Their recorded reports 
at this time are full of interest. We give a sentence from the 
report of 1842, earnest and to the point: ''Young men can 
parse or analyze sentences with a great deal of skill wlien they 
leave school, but it is very rare that you can find one that has 
confidence enough in his own abilities to compose a piece of 
reasoning and recite it before an audience." One report, in 
1 846, so brief we beg leave to give it entire, is as follows : 
'' Your committee would report that in their opinion the schools, 
with one or two exceptions, have been wisely and judiciously 
managed the past year." The annual report was first printed 
in 1853. In 1843 two school libraries were established, and 
the following year a sum of money was appropriated to carry 
on the good work. In 1842 the work of erecting school- 
buildings was again entered upon by the Northeast District, 
which event called forth the following from the School Com- 
mittee : " Your committee hail with joy the erection of a new 
school-house in town, after the lapse of about half a century, a 
period when a scliool-house might have some good claims to 
exemption from further service." Some time later the other 
districts followed suit, and from that time forward the houses 
have been rebuilt — Nos. 1 and 2 sometime from 1852 to 1857, 
No. 4 in 1868, and No. 3 in 1870 — or repaired as was thought 
necessary, until at the present time there is a comfortable 
school-building in each of the four quarters of the town. Only 
five of Boxborough's ,young men have received a college educa- 
tion. Two sons of Rev. Joseph Willard, the first pastor, 
graduated at Harvard in 1793 and 1809, Mr. J. (^uiney 
Hayward at Amherst, in 1882, and Mr. Charles H. Conant, 
Dartmouth, 1871, bar in 1873. Mr. Conant has been a lawyer 
in Lowell for quite a number of years. Mr. D. Boutwell Yeasie 
completed a college course at Worcester, Oliio, and afterwards 
studied law. 

Tlie Glmrcli and its Organization. 




As stated in our opening })aragraph, the old Harvard meeting- 
house was purchased in 1775. The old volume, which 
contains all the account that is left to us of these early days, 
hears on the fly-leaf this inscription: "Kecord Book. The 
Gift of Bennet Wood to the Society Building a Meeting- 
House in North-westerly part of Stow. Littleton, August 31, 
1776.** Religion was the primary cause of the union of the 
})eople on the outskirts of these three towns. They banded 
themselves together for convenience in public worship, and 
thus the '• Xew Society " was formed, which afterwards became 
first the district and then the town. The religious pliase of 
her history is the essential element of all her history ; for 
religion was the fundamental principle — the foundation — on 
which the town was built. For almost half a century the 
town and the j)arish were identical, and her history in this 
connection is not only valuable to us who now study it, but it 
is full of interest also. Our Puritan ancestors recognized then, 
as we do now, in what the true public good consisted, and 
tliey sought to place on their hill, as their initial act, that in 
w hich all their thoughts and deeds should centre, — the church 
of the living God. The town meeting and the parish 
meeting were one for a long time, and for a still longer period, 
more than half a century even, after the separation of town 
and parish l)usiness. th(^ town-meetings were held in the 

38 Boxhor<)i((ih : a New England Town and its People. 

meeting-house. Questions concerning the church and church 
affairs were made the annual business of the town. 

In tlie warrant for the second meeting, held in April, 1783, 
was this article : " To see if the Town will grant money to hire 
Preaching, or act anything Relating the same they shall think 
Proper or choose a committee to do so ;" and they voted to 
hire preaching, agreed upon the sum of forty pounds for that 
purpose, and chose a committee of three to hire it ; viz., Bennet 
Wood, Oliver Taylor and Moses Whitcomb. September 22, 
1783, we read this unique article in town warrant: "To see if 
the Town will Take any measures for to Kegulate Singing on 
the Lord's Day or apoint Quiristers for the same."' And they 
" voted to choose four Quiristers as followeth." Even seven 
years before, in 1776, the good people were not unmindful of 
this phase of public worship, for they "voted and cliose Abel 
Fletcher, Abel Whitcomb and Jonathan Patch to tune the 
Psalms." In 1796 the town " voted that Dr. Belknap's Books 
should be used in the Congregation of Boxborough in the 
Room of Dr. Watt's Books." It seems the town voted also 
where a person should sit in church, for, the same year, it 
" voted and seated Ens. Samuel Wetherbee in the fore-seat 
l)elow, and Samuel Draper in the fore-seat of the side gallery ;" 
in 1792, " Voted that the Dr. sit in the fore-seat of the front ;" 
apparently as a mark of respect to those gentlemen. Deacons' 
seats were also provided. In 1798 the same authority "Voted 
that the Methodist preacher may preach in the meeting- 
house in said Boxborough on the week-days, during the 
town's pleasure, but not to molest or interrupt the Rev. Mr. 
.Iose})h Willard when he shall appoiiit any lecture or time 
to preach in said meeting-house at his pleasure." The town- 
meeting voted the taxes for the payment of the minister, for, a 
month later, that body " voted not to have the persons that 
have dogs taxed for their dogs polls, and voted to tax all 
persons to the minister's Rate agreeable to the Constitution," 
Sometimes a person wished to attend church out of town, and 
then he was released from his minister's rate in town upon 
bringing certiticate from the clerk of the neighboring town, 

The Church and Its Orgnnizaticni. 89 

stating that he worshipped with some other church, and paid 
his dues there. The town corporate evidenced in all her 
proceedings her desire to do everything according to righteous- 
ness and justice, and she was no less careful to bring her 
citizens up to the same standard. 

It appears that the church was in an unfinished state at the 
time of the incorporation of the district, for, Oct. 27, 1788, it 
was voted " to sell the Pue ground in the meeting-house below, 
and take the money to finish the house."' It took several 
town-meetings to settle the business, but it was finally decided 
that '* the persons that purchase tlie Pue ground build the 
pews on their own cost, and take them for their Seates for them- 
selves and families in the ]Meeting-house until the}^ Sell or 
Dispose of the same." The ground-plan was for twenty-two 
})ews, and when they were sold it was '•' voted that the first 
twenty-two highest payers have the first offer of the Pews as is 
Dignified and Prized according to their pay, and voted that 
tlie highest pew be offered nnto the Highest Payer, giving liim 
or them the choice of that or any other Pew they or he Likes 
Better at the Same Price, and if the first twenty-two highest 
Pefuse to take the Pews, then they are to be offered to the 
next twenty-two highest pa3'ers, and so on in proportion till 
all have had the offer if Need be.'' Again, in 1786 and 
1795, votes were passed " to seat meeting-house according to 
age and pay."' These items would seem to show that 
deference to property is not confined to our own time, but was 
also a characteristic of bygone days. 

The church was organized the 29th of April, 1781, and it 
was voted to have the house finished the following November. 
The 18th of that month the town " voted to concur with the 
church of Boxborongh in giving Mr. Joseph Willard a call to 
settle with them as a Gospel Minister in s*^ town." They also 
discussed the subject of salary as to "' what they should give 
the Rev. Mr. Willard for encouragement ; " voted "■ to think 
about it " and, finally, after various meetings to settle the busi- 
ness, Dec. 27, they voted '•' not to give Rev. Mr. AVillard half- 
])ay so long as he induretli Ids natural life, but to pay the Rev. 

40 Bo.rboron(/h : a JVew JiJiit/hind Toint and if.^ People. 

Mr. Joseph Willard £15 of money annually, in silver money, 
at six shilling's, eight pence per ounce, and tind twenty cords 
of wood for his hre annually, so long as the Kev. Mr. Willard 
shall supply the Pulpit in said town of Boxborough and no 
longer." The furnishing of the wood was let out to the lowest 
bidder annually. Another quaintly-worded article in warrant 
this year read as follows : "• To see if the Town will Sell the 
two hind Seats Below on the men's and women's Side and Let 
them be cut up for Pews, and get the outside of the meeting- 
house Painted with tlie money.'" 

They voted to install Mr. Willard, Nov. 2, 1785. Mr. 
Willard was born in Grafton, Mass., and graduated at Harvard 
College in 1765. He was called to Bedford,* April 19, 1769, 
where he served as pastor for nearly fourteen years. December 
4, 1782, his connection with the society was dissolved at his 
own request, l)y the unanimous advice of a council, on account 
of the broken state of the society. He then received his call 
and was installed over the District of Boxborough. The follow- 
ing eight churches were invited to join in the installation 
services : Grafton, Harvard, first and second churches Reading, 
Stow, Northboro', T^ittleton, and Acton. Rev. Jonathan Newell, 
of Stow, offered the opening prayer ; Rev. Caleb Prentice, of 
the first church in Reading, preaclied the sermon from 2 Cor., 
1st chapter and 24th verse, — "Not for that we have dominion 
over your faith, but are helpers of your joy." We quote from 
this sermon — which was printed at Worcester, in 1786, and a 
copy of which is in possession of Miss IVI. B. Priest of this 
town — the following extracts : — 

'' The great business of Gospel Ministers, is, to be helpers of 
the joy of their fellow-men, to promote their well-being and 

felicity, both in the present and future world Every 

man has a natural, unalienable right, to think, judge, and 
believe for himself, in matters of religion. And every Christian 
is bound to maintain this right for himself, and to support 
others in the enjoyment of it. If one Christian usurps dominion 
over another's faith, he assumes a power tliat does not belong 

*For "Bedford'' read " Mendon." 

Installation Sermon and 3Ir. WilhtnL 41 

to him, and may with propriety be addressed after this manner 
— Who made thee to be a rider and judge over, others in this 
matter? Who art thou that judgest another man s servant f To 
his own master lie standeth or falleth, to whom alone he is 

accountable Ministers must preach the Word, more 

especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which reveals the mind 
and will of the Lord, and points out to men the path of duty 
and wa}' to happiness. .... AVe must instruct our hearers 
in that useful branch of science, the true knowledge of them- 
selves — the end of their existence — their mortal and immoital 

nature — and their relation to a future, eternal world 

The terrours of the law must be thundered forth, to engage 

sinners to repentance and to bring them to Christ An 

essential part of JNIinisterial duty consists, in preaching Christ 
as a Saviour to men. We must pi-oclaim to men the glad 
tidings of salvation Ijy the Son of God, the Mediator of the 
new covenant, and make known the mercy and grace of 
God to sinners, through Jesus Christ, teaching them the 
way to obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal life, through the 
Son of God." 

Rev. Eben Grosvenor offered prayer ; Rev. Eliab Stone, of 
tlie second church in Reading, gave the charge to the pastor ; 
Rev. Peter Whitney, of Northborough, gave the charge to the 
people, and Rev. Moses Adams, of Acton, offered the closing 
prayer. The whole number of persons belonging to the church 
at its organization, and admitted afterward during Mr. Willard's 
pastorate, was 144; number of persons baptized, 265; number 
of marriages, 109; number of deaths, 188. After a pastorate 
of nearly forty years, by request of the peoj^le, in December, 
1823, Mr. Willard resigned his position as pastor of the church, 
when just at the close of his eighty-second year. He resided 
at the parsonage, the house now owned and occupied by Air. 
Jerome Priest, until his death, in September, 1828. 

We know Ijut little of him who closed his earthly career 
here more than sixty years ago. We are informed that he fitted 
a great many j'oung men for college, that he was himself a 
graduate of Harvard, and we judge that he was a man of 

42 Boxboroii[/h : a New Uiii/Iand Town and its People. 

education and culture, — a faithful worker, leading and direct- 
ing the newly-organized church, revered, loved and trusted by 
them for upwards of half a century, and that his labors, though 
expended among these country hills, were not in vain. 

In 1815 the question of building a new meeting-house or 
of i-ei^airing the old began to agitate the i)eople. During the 
next three years many meetings were held, at which various 
measures were suggested, voted upon, and then reconsidered. 
At length, in May, 1816, a vote was passed ''to leave it to a 
committee to determine whether the town shall repair old 
meeting-house or build a new one, and if in the opinion of said 
committee the Town shall build a new Meeting-house, they 
shall appoint the place where to set it." And they chose 
Augustus Tower, Esq. of Stow, John Robins, Esq. of Acton, 
and Jonathan Sawyer, a ccnnmittee for that purpose. The hill 
on which tlie old church stood was quite a little distance west 
of the centre, and so the jieople of the east part of the town 
wished not only to build a new house, but to have it placed 
nearer the actual centre. According to the records, the con- 
troversy grew stronger, for the said committee having performed 
their duty and brought in the report " that in their opinion it 
would not be for the interest of the town to repair the old, but 
to build new, and on spot southerly of Mr. Phinchas Wether- 
bee's dwelling-house " — a site quite near the actual centre — 
it was voted "not to accept the report" and " not to reconsider 
the last vote to repair." At a November meeting a. petition 
was presented, signed by twenty-three residents of the east 
part of the town, asking, '' First, for a new meeting-house ; 
second, that it be placed on or near site appointed by the com- 
mittee of reference ; and if not, third, to see if the town will 
vote that the subscribers be discharged from Boxborougli that 
they may go to the original Towns from which they were 
taken." The town was not ready as a whole to yield the 
ground on the question of a new meeting-house, nor did they 
wish to lose any of their citizens, so they voted " to pass over 
the article." Efforts Avere made from time to time to bring 
about a better state of feeling between the parties, but the new 

Rev. Aaron Picket. 43 

house was not built until years after (in 1836), neither were 
there repairs made to any extent. 

After Mr. AVillarcFs resignation, when the Rev. Aaron 
Picket came to be their next minister, the manner of proced- 
ure was changed. The amendment to the Constitution discon- 
necting Church and State was not passed until November, 
1833, but the town-meeting no longer granted the minister's 
salary, or auctioned off his twenty cords of wood to the lowest 
bidder. Mr. Picket came in 1826 upon a vote of the town " to 
hire him for one year after the money that is alread}- raised is 
expended to preach for them in Boxborough, provided he will 
stay and they can get money enough to pay him." A division 
similar to that which occurred in so many churches at about 
that time was imminent now. In 1828 they "voted to let 
each denomination have the meeting-house their proportionable 
part of the time according to the valuation,'' and they chose a 
committee, in which each denomination was represented, " to 
lay out the money." But from later records it seems probable 
that the money was raised not by assessment, but by sub- 

44 Boxhorouf/h : a Neu) Eiuihmd Toum and its People. 





The separation came at last in 1829, when the church desired 
to call the Rev. James R. Gushing of the Theological Seminary, 
Bangor, Me., to the pastorate, to which action the parish raised 
opposition. The ground of difference was in religious belief. 
And so, May 20, the church met and voted " That having 
failed to secure the concurrence of the 1st Parish in inviting- 
Mr. Gushing to become our Religious Teacher we proceed to 
take the steps prescribed by law to form a New Society whose 
members will concur with us in taking the necessary measures 
to secure to this church the pastoral labors of Mr. Gushing." 
Immediately the society, called the " Evangelical Gongrega- 
tional Society in the District of Boxborough," was legall}" 
formed, and having '•'• concurred " with the church, a call Avas 
at once extended to Mr. Gushing; and the " solemnities " of 
ordination were performed under an ancient elm near the old 
meeting-house, Aug. 12, 1829. They built their church on its 
present site, at the junction of the highways, where the Stow 
road crosses the old turn-pike, a little south-east of the centre, 
near which a comfortable parsonage now stands, a point con- 
venient of access from all parts of the town. It was " dedicated 
to the worship of God " Eeb. 6, 1838. A sketch of those who 
have been connected with the church as pastors may not be 
uninteresting. Mr. Gushing was dismissed at his own request, 

Paators. 45 

to become agent for tbe American Bible and Tract Society, 
June 12, 1833. He Avas one of tbe Superintending Scbool 
Committee for tbree years. 

Jan. 13, 1834, tbe cbui-eli and societ}* voted unanimously 
to give Rev. Josepb Warren Cross a call to tbe pastorate. 
Mr. Cross accepted tbe call and was ordained tbe first da}^ of 
the following October. Tbis connection of pastor and people 
was dissolved Nov. 13, 1839, by bis own request. He served 
on tbe Scbool Board in 1838. He is still living — at tbe 
advanced age of eigbty — in West Boylston, Mass. He 
retired from tbe ministry a number of years ago. During bis 
stay in Boxborougb be taugbt a private scbool in a building 
erected for the purpose, nearly opposite tbe new church, and 
which was also used as a vestry. Tbe building is now a part 
of Mr. Hayden's barn. 

Rev. James D. Farnsworth accepted tbe pastoral care of tbe 
church Nov. 28, 1841, and was installed Jan. 6, 1842. Tbis 
connection was severed in 1847. He was a member of tbe 
Superintending Scbool Committee in 1842 and 1844, served as 
one of the assessors for two consecutive years and was active in 
all that pertained to the well-being of tbe town. 

A part of the time from 1847 to 1851 the cburcli was 
supplied by Rev. Mr. Crossman, a 3'Oung Wesleyan divine, 
who, in connection witb bis pnlpit duties, performed those of 
teacher in No. 4 District for two consecutive winters. Rev. 
Mr. Gannett preached in 1851-52, and Rev. Leonard Luce 
became, the acting pastor from 1853 to 1858. During his 
ministrations tbe greatest revival tbe church has ever known 
was enjoyed. He died in Westford a numljer of yeai's ago at 
tbe ripe age of eighty-five years. 

Rev. James H. Fitts, a young man and a native of New 
Hampshire, commenced bis labors as acting pastor of tbe 
church Sept. 5, 1858, and continued bis connection witb it for 
nearly four years ; then, having received a call to the church 
in West Boylston, Mass., be preached bis farewell sermon 
July 27, 1802, and accepted the call to that place. 

46 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

Kev. George N. Marden was ordained to the pastoral office 
Oct. 2. 1862, and dissolved his relationship with the church in 
April, 1865. He was a fine scholar, as his sermons testified. 
He is now connected with a college at Colorado Springs, Col. 

The following November Rev. Amos Holbrook, of Milford, 
Mass., commenced his labors as acting pastor and closed them 
Sept. 1, 1868, He had neither seminary education nor theo- 
logical training, but he was a well-educated man, having held 
the position of principal of a school in Milford previous to his 
pastorate in Boxborough. It was during his stay, and owing 
partly to his influence, that the present parsonage was built. 

Feb. 11, 1869, Rev. Daniel McClenning came, but removed 
to Hanover, N. H., Apr. 30, 1873. Socially he was a perfect 
gentleman and very agreeable in manner, but his stjde of 
preaching was censorious and severe. He was of Scotch ances- 
try and his birth-place was in Littleton. He died five or six 
years ago. 

Rev. John Wood supplied the pulpit from Oct. 26, 1873, 
until Feb. 28, 1875. He was possessed of good preaching 
ability and quite a number of persons were brought into the 
church in connection with his labors. He was a i-esident of 
Wellesley, Mass., at this time, and came to his charge each 
week. He is more than eighty years of age and is living in 
Fitchburg, Mass., at the present time. 

After the close of Mr. Wood's pastorate the church was 
supplied by Revs. Wood, Robie, Wells and others until tlie 
first of April, 1876, when Rev. Nathan Thompson began his 
labors in Boxborough, continuing them until August, 1881. 
During his pastorate, in 1880, the church was thoroughly 
repaired, a vestry })laced beneath audience-room, and the whole 
fitted up neatly and conveniently, so that, at the present time, 
it is well adapted to the wants of the people. Mr. Thompson 
took an active interest in town affairs — the Lyceum, the Far- 
mer's Club, the schools, of which he was superintendent. He 
was a man of lovely character and very popular as a townsman. 
Previous to coming to Boxborough he liad been a home 

The Firsf Parish. 47 

missionary in Colorado for ten years, and he left the church 
here to become principal of Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass. 
From Groton, he went to Klgin, 111., where he remained 
several years as principal of an academy, but at the present 
time is residing with his family in Baltimore, Md. 

Nov. 6, 1881, a call was extended to Rev. William Leonard, 
who labored with the church until April, 1884, Avhen he 
removed to Barnstable, Mass. He was of English parentage. 
I quote a sentence from his centennial speech which seems to 
be characteristic of the man : " I preach what I believe and 
believe what I preach, and no man shall deprive me of this 

Kev. George Dustan, of Peterboro, X. H., came to the 
church Dec. 1, 1884, and severed his connection with it the 
last of Februar}^, 1887, to take charge of the Orphan Asylum, 
Hartford, Conn. He had been pastor of the church in Peter- 
boro for a period of twenty-five years. He was interested in 
town affairs, superintendent of schools, a member of the Grange 
and a very good preacher. 

Pev. George A. Perkins, the pi-esent pastor, began his 
labors with the church in Boxborough April 1, 1887. ^h\ 
Perkins was a missionary in Turkey for a number of years. 
He is a faithful pastor and pi'eacher. 

The First Parish continued their Sabbath services a part 
of the time for several years after the division of 1829, and 
then they were discontinued, and the organization finally 
became extinct. Other things of public interest, as the store, 
post-office, blacksmith and wagon-shop, etc., have disappeared 
from their Monted places on the hill, but the chui'ch, though 
in a different location, — through the earnest, continued efforts 
of her members, — still lives. Orthodox and Universalist 
meet and part and take each other by the hand, yet the old 
differences seem not wholly forgotten, the old scars not 
entirely obliterated. Time may accomplish what willing 
hearts cannot, and in the not far distant future the Universal 
Church, witliin whose fold all may work together in the ser- 
vice of our common Lord, haply shall spread its joyful wings 

48 Boxhoroi{(/h : a New England Toivn and its People. 

over all these peaceful hills and valleys. '^ May the Lord 
hasten it in His time." 

In passing we would make mention of the Methodist 
Cliurch, which was situated in the south-west part of the town 
something like eighty years ago, and which existed until 1843. 
I say in the soutliTwest part of the town, but the building — 
although the intention was to build on Harvard ground — wa-; 
really erected on the boundary line between Boxborough 
and Harvard, owing to uncertainty with regard to the exact 
location of said l)oundary. It was a small building painted 
red, and contiguous to it was a noble spreading oak. An 
amusing anecdote of this old house of worship is related by 
one of the older residents, who remembers the building well. 
A wayfarer passing along the Boxborough highway one after- 
noon inquired of a citizen whom he met the way to the old 
meeting-house. "' O, go right along until you come to a little 
red house tied to an oak tree ; that 's the Methodist church,'' 
replied the person accosted, with more celerity than reverence. 
Although there was more or less Wesleyan preaching for 
several years, there was no preaching by appointment of the 
Conference after 1843. Some of the members transferred their 
church relationshi[) to Harvard, others to the Congregational 
church in Boxborough, and others to surrounding towns ; and 
finally, some years later, the church building was burned. The 
old oak still stands to iiiark the spot. 

There are two organizations in which the farmers are 
banded together for iin[)roveineiit. and discussion of matters of 
interest, — the Farmer's Club and the- Grange. The Farmer's 
Club has had its existence for something less than twenty 
years ; tlie Ciunge has been organized only four years, yet it 
seems to be in successful operation and doing a good work. 

We quote a few items, interesting by comparison with the 
present time, from " Statistical Information relating to certain 
Branches of Industry in Massachusetts for 1855," by the 
Secretary of the Commonwealth, Francis DeWitt ; ''Box- 
borough — Value of IJaib'oad cars, etc., m"d., -if'SOO ; cap., 
'f 1000. Boots of all kinds m'd 250 })airs ; shoes of all kinds 

Centennial and To/rn Officers. 49 

m\l. , 4,600 pairs ; value of boots and shoes, #4000. Char- 
coal ni"d., 8,500 bush. ; val. of same, *525. Butter, 13,640, 
lbs. ; val. of butter, -13,410. Hops, 14 1-2 acres ; ho[)S per 
acre, 700 1U4, ; val., #2556. Cranberries, 21 acres; val., #512.''' 
A report of this kind of the present date would probably con- 
tain few or none of these items. No business except that of 
ordinary farming has obtained a foothold for a number of years. 
A city gentleman was reeentlv excusing himself to one of our 
citizens on whom he made a business call for his lack of the 
knowledge of grammar. •' I have a good business education; 
but I do not know much about grammar,'' said he. •' The 
people of Boxborough might as well study grammar as not ; 
thei-e is nothing else to do," replied the host. Perhaps this 
anecdote somewhat exaggerates the situation, but we can gain 
an idea from it. 

Boxl)orough celebrated her centennial anniversary, Feb. 24, 
1883, ''in the old meeting-house on the hill." The exercises 
tliroughout day and evening were interesting and enjoyable. 
Mr. F. V. Knowlton of Littleton gave an address, " Reminis- 
cences," Rev. Nathan Thom})son, a former pastor in the toAvn, 
delivered the '* Historical Address, " and Mrs. (x. F. Conant 
the "• (centennial Poem." Mrs. M. E. Burrouglis contributed 
the " Closing Hymn." After-dinner speeches, full of the 
" early days " hy present and former townsmen, with readings 
In' Mr. F. H. Pope of Leominster, and music, made up the 
l)rogramme. An account of the pi-oceedings of this "-day of 
ennol)ling retrospection and glad reunion " was afterwards 
published in pamphlet form, by the town. 

The following are the town ofificers for the present year, 
18'.tl : Mr. A. Littlefield, N. E. Whitcomb, J. H. Whitcomb, 
Selectmen and Assessors ; D. W. Cobleigh, Treasurer ; George 
F. Keyes, Town (.Terk ; J. F. Hayward, Auditor ; W. H. Fur- 
bush, N. E. Whitcomb, J. Warren Hayward, Road Commis- 
sioners ; C. H. Blanchard, Lewis W. Richardson, Frank Wliit- 
comb, A. M. Whitcomb, >S. P. Dodge, 8. B. Hager, School 
Committee ; Frank A. Patch, Superintendent of Schools ; C. T. 
Wetherbee, Constable and Collector. 

50 Boxhorough : a Netv Ungland Town and its People. 



An interesting landscape feature of the town is Ridge Hill, 
an elevation of land very steep and narrow which extends about 
one half mile in a nearly direct line through lands of Messrs. 
N. Wetherbee, S. Hoar, B. S. Hager, and J. H. Orendorff, and 
finally merges itself in the adjoining hills. Jt is flanked on one 
side for a short distance b}- Muddy Pond and on the other by 
Beaver Brook. The soil is of coarse giuvel and supports a 
growth of all kinds of trees, the whole ridge, with the exception 
of a few acres, being woodland. A narrow road or cart-path 
runs along the crest — which resembles a railroad bed — almost 
the entire length of the elevation. 

As we wander through the fields, over the hills and along 
the valleys, and place our feet upon one rocky stratum and 
another, we are led to exclaim (with the disciple of old and 
with all reverence), "What manner of stones are here?" 
Whence came this formation ? How far extend ? Of what 
consist? (lo into the cave or the quarry. Stand beneath the 
rocky dome, and while wondering at the work of man gaze 
with awe upon the creation of God. 

Scientists teach that the earth was once a ball of gaseous 
matter changed by cooling and contraction first to a liquid 
form, then by continued cooling and contraction forming a thin 
granite crust. The melted interior broke through this crust 
and spread over the surface. This cooled and the crust increased 
in thickness, so that the melted interior broke through only in 
thin places. Particles of the surrounding atmosphere fell upon 

Mocks and Minerals. 51 

the crust. Steam was condensed and formed clouds ; clouds 
were consolidated and deluged the earth with torrents of rain. 
The melted interior surface cooled still farther and formed a 
solid crust. Under the influence of (chemical action disintegra- 
tion took place. The cooling earth became smaller, the crust 
wrinkled and folded and our mountain ranges appeared. Water 
washed off [)articles of these prominences and deposited them 
in layers on the bed of the oceans, and thus secondary rocks 
were formed. We And strata of tliese rocks on the earth's 
surface extending thousands of feet in thickness. As the earth 
still farther cooled, the crumpled, outer crust broke, and those 
once horizontal strata were upheaved and inclined at all angles, 
finally rising above the surface of the sea. The rocky ledges 
of our hills, the rough jutting crags in our pastures, our now 
unused quarries, are doubtless of these and subsequent forma- 

The rocks of Boxljorough are mainly limestone with its vary- 
ing shades and degrees of texture ; gneiss ; common, selenitic and 
other coarse granites. Limestone is found in quite large quan- 
tities in the northeast part of the toAvn toward Littleton, and 
some years ago the business of lime-burning was made quite 
prominent. The old kiln and quarry may still be seen upon 
the D. W. C'ol)leigh farm. 

Magnesian limestone, found here, is used in the manufacture 
of Epsom salts or sulphate of magnesia. 

Quartz, the most common mineral of our rocks and al)ound- 
ing in those of all ages, is the hardest of minerals, its durability 
being its greatest quality. Some fine specimens have been 
i'ouiid in tliis neighborhood, of various kinds and colors. The 
smooth, uniformly colored stones (»f the pebble-bank, white, 
l)rown, yellow or black, are mostly (juartz. Erosion wears out 
the softer materials and leaves the hard quartz constituents 

Feldspar or OtJwdase^ a very common mineial found in 
granite, is also abundant. It is the most common of the sili- 
cates. Our varieties are white, gray, and fiesh-red in color. 
Green is also common. It is easih' mistaken for quartz, and 

f)2 Boxhoi'ough : a Nciv England Toirn and ita People. 

.iltliougli not <]iiite so hard a mineral, is yet too hard to be 
scratched with a knife. It breaks with a bright even surface — 
brilliant in the sunshine — in one direction, and also in 
another dirt'ction at right angles with it but not so easily, 
while quartz has no cleavage. Crystallized feldspar occurs 
in gneiss. 

Mica is ol)servable in greater or less degree in many of our 
rocks — this mineial together with (juartz and feldspar consti- 
tuting common granite. It has a pearly lustre, and varies in 
color, our varieties com|)rising Avhite, black, and gray. It has 
cleavage in laminae or plates, is elastic, tough and infusible. 
Very large plates are found in N. H., and in Siberia plates 
have been discovered over one yard in length. Mica, like 
feldspar, contains the elements of silica and alumina ; the light- 
colored variety has besides these, })otash ; and the black kind 
contains magnesia and iron. 

Black hornblende aljounds in the sienitic granites and other 
rocks. It resembles mica, but is a very brittle mineral and 
cannot be split into leaves or scales with a knife point. It 
makes tough rocks, and therefore the first part of the name, 
/lorn : these heavy rocks look sometimes like an ore of iron and 
from this fact comes the second syllal)le, blende, a German word 
meaning blind or deceitful. This mineral contains, besides 
silica, iron, magnesia and lime. 

Actinolite, a green variety of hornl)lende, is found in the 
magnesian rocks. 

Radiated Actinolite, olive green, consisting of collections 
of coarse acicular fibers, also makes its appearance in the 
limestone; and Asbestus, resembling the radiated, but 
with more delicate fibers, may l)e found in the same kind of 

Purple Scapolite, resembling feldspar, but with a slight 
fibrous appearance on cleavage surface, is especially common in 
granular limestone. Some fine crystals are discoverable in 
Boxborough. It occurs massive, as well. 

Boltonite, from the limestone formation, of a greenish color, 
is a variety of Chrysolite. 

Flora. 53 

Apatite, occurring- in gneiss and granular limestone, has 
usually green, yellowish-green, bluish-green or grayish-green, 
crystals ; some fine specimens are found in this locality. 

(iarnets, cinnamon-colored crystals, transparent, occur in 
gneiss and limestone. 

Crystaline Augite occurs in Calcite Spar ; specks of Serpen- 
tine, and Calcareous Spar, wine-yellow, in limestone. 

Spinel, Petalite and other minerals are also found. 


There are about 70 natural orders represented in the flora 
of this town, the most im})ortant being the pine family 

White Pine (Pirms sfrohus), with its awl-shaped leaves and 
long, cylindrical hanging cones, is the largest. 

Northern Pitch Pine (^Pinys rii/ida), a stout tree with dark 
green leaves and clustered ovate-conical cones, grows on sandy 

Black or Double Sprnce (^Ahies ui(/ra) is common in the 
woods and swamps. 

Hemlock Spi-uce (^Ahies Oauadcnsis), — a large tree with 
coarse wood, — with its gracefully spreading brandies is found 
on the hills. 

Hackmatack, Tamarack or Bald Spruce {^Lar'ix Amfrlcand), 
a slender tree with short pale leaves and small cones, is also a 
native of the swamps. 

Red Cedar (^Jimiperus Virginiana), is comparatively rare. 

Juniper Qluniperus communis) is common in rocky pastures. 

Of the deciduous trees, the maple, a fast grower, with its 
leafless branches in winter, full green foliage in sunnner 
and gorgeous autumn tints, is a favorite. We have three 
varieties : 

White or Silver Maple (^Acer dasyearpum)^ a handsome tree 
of the lowlands, with greenish apetalous flowers in earliest 
spring, grows most commonly along the banks of streams. 

Red or Swamp Maple (^Acer Uiihnnn) has later scarlet, 
crimson or yellow blossoms and is found in low grounds. 

54 Boxhorough : a Neiv England Toivn and its People. 

Rock or Sugar Maple (^Arer m<-r]iar'nnirii)^ Yalual)le for 
wood, timber and the sugar of its sap, tlie largest of the 
species, here mainly takes the })laee of an ornamental shade 

Sweet, Black or Cherry Birch (^Befula lenta)! has fine 
grained valuable wood, spicy, aromatic leaves and baik, and is 
seen everywhere. 

American White Birch (^Betnlapopidifolui), a graceful tree, 
the smallest of the birches, has glossy, triangular leaves and 
prefers sterile soil. 

Paper or Canoe Birch i^Betula papyraeea) is not verj^ 

Yellow or Gray Birch (^Betula lutea^ is frequently seen with 
its silvery bark. 

White Oak (^Qiiereus alba')., a large tree, — its edible fruit 
produced annually and usually sweet-tasted, — flourishes in 
rich soil. 

Yellow or Gray Oak (^Quercus priniis) inhabits the same 
localities as the former. 

Red Oak {(^h<erri(s ndn-a), with its coarse, reddisli wood, is 

Chestnut Oak (^Quereus prums) occasionally greets the e3'e. 

Black Scrub and Swamp Oak (^(^uen-iis ilicifolia and 
palustris) are other varieties. 

Elms (^Ulmus Amerinoia nnd rareviom), well-known, large, 
majestic trees, are used foi- shade in many })laces and common 

Chestiuit (Cffstanea A)nerirana), an inhal)itant of the hills 
and the woods, furnishes delicious nuts. 

Butternut or White Walnut {Juglaus cineira), a medium- 
sized tree with rich oblong nuts, grows Avild, also under culti- 

Hickory (^Cart/a alha and poreina), furnishes, the first, line 
nuts; the second, those of an inferior {[uality. The hrst species 
is rare. 

Basswood {Tilia Americana) is represented by a few scat- 
tered specimens. 

Trees and Shrubs. 55 

White and Red Ash (^Fraxinus Americana and puhescens} 
rear their ash-gray l)ranches and smooth stalks in the fields and 

Poplar or Aspen (J*<>j)ii/ux trnnuJoides and i/nnuh'deHtata') 
are common to the woodlands. 

Cherry (I'nDius iicrot'ntd and ]lr</ini(Ui(i,) wild black and 
choke cherry, have flowers in racemes and small frnits ripening 
in snnnncr and antumn. 

^Mountain Ash (^P//riis Americana) is planted for ornament. 

A few trees which have been introduced from Europe, 
Asia or elsewhere, may be added, as: Locust (Kohinia Fseu- 
(lar((cia)., Florse Chestnnt (^Ef<cub(s Hippocasfanum)., Balm of 
(lilead (^Fopnhts caiKjifunix), 'J'hoi'n (^Cratrnptx fomentosa)., 
(Quince {^Cydotiia VK/t/ar/s), I'car (Pyrus c<n)imuiiii<), Apple 
{Pyrus mains)., Peacli ( /'nniiix J*erxica)^ Plum (Prmius do- 
mciitica), ("herry ( l*niini^ ccnisiix and ariani). Mulberry 
(3Ior>(s alha), Lonibai-dy I'ophir { Poj>id)ix d/Iafata), White 
l*o[)lar {Pnjudiix alha)., Catalpa {('afaJpa InyiwnioidcH) and 
Apricot {J*ri(ini-s Anneniacti ). ^ 

l\{nn\)edm ( CarjaNiis Americana) reseml)ling Beech, with 
very hard wood, is rarely found. 

T^everwood (Ostrya Viryiitica) has birehdike leaves and 
grows on Ikidge Hill. 

liecrh (Fayi(sferni</inca) is occasionally seen with its close, 
smooth, light-gray l)ark. 

Of shrnl)s may l)e mentioned : — 

Shad-))ush {Alcmaitchicr Cavadcasis), so called because it 
covers itself with wliite Ijlossoms just when the shad appear in 
the rivers. 

Hardluick and Meadow Sweet (Spircva tomcnfoxa i\nd salici- 
foJIa) with their red and white blossoms abound by roadsides 
and in old pastures. 

High and low Blackberry (^Ruhui< viUosus and Canadensis) 
flourish along thickets and fence-rows. 

Ivuspberry {Rnhus striyosus and oecidentalis) is common 
alono- field borders. 

56 Boxhorou(/h : a JVeic Enr/Ianrl Town and its People. 

Cornel or Dogwood ( Cornus') grows fi'om twelve to thirty 
feet in height and gladdens the eye with its profusion of 
creamy l)lossonis. Several species. 

Arrow-wood (Virhi(r)nim') has several species: Shee})- 
berry ( V. Lenfdfjo)^ Withe-rod ( V. nudnm), and Dockmackie 
( l\ acerifoUum'). 

Under the Heath family (Eriraccat') are : The Kalmias 
(Latifolia and an(/nstifolia) Mountain and Sheep Laurel ; the 
former with beautiful glossy leaves and rose or white flowers, 
the latter with crimson pur})le blossoms in our pastures : 
Azalea ( Viscosa), very fragrant, with lovely white or rosy- 
tinged clammy flowers in summer; Rhodora (^Canadensis) 
with rose-pink flowers ap})earing before the leaves in spring ; 
Blueberry ( Vaccinium PensyJvanlcnm., Canadense and corym- 
hosinii), the dwarf the earliest to ripen, and the swamp berry 
common to low grounds ; Huckle])erry {G-ai/Jiissacla frondosa 
and rci<ltioH<() Avith black and blue fruit flourishing in pastures ; 
and the Cranberry ( V(«-<-inium tnacrocarijon) which is found in 
the meadows. 

Sumach ( Wnix) has three varieties, — Poison Ivy {K. Toxl- 
(■ndi-ndro)i) a pestiferous })lant, climbing by rootlets over walks 
and rocks or ascending trees; Poison Dogwood {R. venr)iatit) 
a virulent shrub in swampy ground and Smooth Sumach (/?. 
Glahra) the common variety in old pastures. 

Alder ( Aln kk incana) finds a place by roadsides and streams. 

Willow ( S((Il.r), several species, is abundant everywhere. 

Sweet Fern ( Compfnnld asjdcin'f<>/{a) resembles a fern and 
is aromatic. 

Witch Hazel {Hnin((indli< Vin/iuica) flowers late in 
autumn, just as the leaves are- about to fall. 

Elder (jSa/nhncns Canadensis and jndwns) has black and 
red fruit, and white fragrant blossoms. 

Button Bush (CepJialanthns occidfntalix) ornaments the 
borders of ponds and streams, and has flagrant heads of Avhite 
flowers in summer and autumn. 

Barberry (Berber is vuJ(/aris) with many-flowered yellow 
racemes and red oblong berries ; Lilac {/S'/rinf/a rul</aris) pale 

JTerbaceoKS Plants. 57 

violet and white; CiiiTant (^Hibes rubrum mid cmreum) : Goose- 
l)eny (Ribes Grrossniaria and hertellum) ; Rose (Rosa) includ- 
ing exotics, many species; Fever or Spice Bush (Lindera 
Benzoin) ; Hazel-nut (Carylus Americana^ ; Sassafras 
( *S'. officinale); Grape Vines (^Vitis) wild and cultivated; 
Woodbine or Virginia-Creeper (Ampelopsis qninqnefolia) ; 
Andromeda (li(jusfrina) ; Bush Honeysuckle (Diennlla 
trifida) ; Choke Berry (Pyt-us arbutifolia) ; Bittersweet 
(Oelastrus .scandens), and others, are native here. 

The following herbaceous plants are indigenous : Violet 
( Viola), yellow, white, pansy and blue, many species ; Yellow 
Bellwort ( Uvularia), several of the species with drooping 
yellow flowers in spring; Wake Robin (Trillium eernuum,) 
with pure white petals also in spring ; Solomon's Seal (Poly- 
lionntnm hiflorum), peduncles two flowered ; Blood-root 
(San<iuinaria Canadensis), with beautiful white blossoms ; 
Anemony or Wind Flower (Ammone), several varieties with 
frail Avhite or purple tinted flowers ; Bluets (Hovstonia r<vrulea,) 
Avith light blue or white yellowish eyed corolla ; Saxifrage 
{Saxifraya Jlryiniensis), hlooming on ledges in early spring j 
W^ild Columbine (Aquileyia Canadensis), with its nodding 
scarlet and yellow flowers, also making its home on the rocks ; 
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Ariswrna triplryllmn), rearing its sturdy 
form in moist places ; Water Lily (Nymphjea odorata), very 
fragrant, growing abundantly in Muddy Pond and other 
waters ; Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), by brooksides, 
with Imlliant deep red flowers in erect racemes ; Golden Rod 
(Solidayo) many species, Gentian (Gentiana cririita) and 
Asters, too numerous to mention, the last flowers to bid us 
farewell in the autumn.* 

* Herbaceous Plants according to families. 

A dash — after the Latin name signifies many species. 

Anemony (Anemone) several species. Virgin's Bower {Clematis) . Meadow Kue {Thalic- 
tritm). Crowfoot, Buttercup {Ranunculus —) . Yellow Pond Lily {Ntiphar Advcna). 
Pitcher Plant {Sarraccnia purpurea). Celandine {Chelidon'nim \majus). Bloodroot 
(Sanguinaria Canadensis). Pale Corydalis {Corydalis glauca). Mustard {Brassica — ). 
Horse-radish {N asUtrtium) . Shepherd's Purse {Capsclla) . Violet {Viola—). Round-leaved 
'>unA&fi {Drosera roiiitidi/olia) . Frostweed {Helianthenium Canadense) . St. John's-wort 
{Hypericum — ). .Soapwort {Saponaria officinalis). Mouse-ear Chickweed {Cerastium 
viscosum) . Common Starwort {Stellaria media). Sand Spurrey {Spergularia rubra). 

58 Bocrhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

There are about 160 species in the Sedge Family (Cgper- 
acea^), and many of these grow in our low meadows and half- 
reclaimed hogs. 

The Grass Family (^Gramlnea^^^ a numerous one, has, 
among others, the following representatives : Red Top, White 
Top, Blue Joint, Orchard, Meadow, Spear, Wire, Fowl- 
Meadow, Common Chess, Meadow-soft, Herd's, Crab or 
Finger, Barn, Witch, June, Hassock, Cut, Broad-leaved Panic, 
and Tickle Grass. 

Purslane {Portnlaca oleraced). Mallow (Ma/vn rotuiidifo/ia) . Indian Mallow (Abuiilon- 
Avicemiae). Marsh Marigold (£"«////«). Gold-thread {,Co/>tis). Co\umb\n& {Aquilegia Can- 
adensis) Water or Pond Lily {NympJucd). Wood-sorrel {O.xalis strict a). Spotted Cranes- 
bill {Geranium maculatitm) . Jewel-weed {Impatieits pallida) . Fringed Polygala (Polygala 
paucifolia). Lupine {Lupimts perennis). Sweet Clover {Melilofiis alba). Trefoil (Trifo- 
liiim—). Ground Nut. {Apios tuherosa). Hog-pe&nut {Ampliicarptca MO/ioica) . False 
Indigo {Baptisia). Wild Senna (Cassia Marilandica) . C'mqaetoW (Potenfilla—) . Straw- 
berry {Fragaria vesca) . White Avens {Gciim I'irginianum.) Agrimony {Agrimonia 
Eiipatoria). Saxifrage (Saxi/raga Virginiensis and Pennsylvanua) . Willow Herb 
{Epilobitim angustifolium and coloratum). Evening Primrose {Oenothera—). Carrot 
{Daiicus Carota). Caraway. {Carum Carvi). Cleavers (Galirnn asprelliim). Bunch 
Berry {Cornus Canadensis). Partridge Berry (Mitchclla repens). Bluets {Houstonia 
cmrulea). Artichoke {Cynara Scolymiis). Thistle (Cirsimii—) . Burdock {Lappa 
officinalis). Roman Wormwood (Ambrosia artemisitrfolia) . Common Wormwood 
(A. Absinthium). Tansy (Tanacetiim viilgarc) . Immortelle (Atitennaria margaritacea) . 
Everlasting (Gnaphalium—) Thoroughwort (Eupatorium pcrfoHatum and purptireum) . 
Golden Ragwort (^fw^c/f? «?<r<?;w) . Golden Rod (^oZ/V/rt^o—)- Starwort (.4j/^r— ) . Yarrow 
(Achillea Millefolium) . Mayweed (Mariita Cotula). Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthcmum vulgare). 
Ox-eye (Heliopsis). Bur-Marigold (Bideiis frondosa and chrysanthemoides) . Chicory 
(Cichorium Intyhus). Hawkbit (Lcontodon autumnale) . Dandelion (Taraxacum Dens- 
leonis). Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Canadensis). Blue Lettuce (Mulgedium leucophceum). 
\^o\x\\2L (Lobelia— ). Marsh Bellfiower (Campanula aparinoides). Venus's Looking-glass 
(Specularia perfoliata) . Asparagiis (officinalis). Checkerberry (Gaultheria procumbens) . 
Winterjrreen (Pyrola elliptica) . Pipsissewa (Chimaphila iimbcllata) . Plantain (Plantago 
tnajor). 'Loo?,&%Xni& (Lysimachia—). M\i\\e.\n (Verbascu7n Thapsus). Speedwell ( Fi?roM- 
ica officinalis). Cow wheat (Melampyrum americamaii) . Foxglove (Gerardia pedicularia) . 
Balmony (Chelone glabra) . Wood Betony (Pedicularis Ca7tadensis). Penstemon (Yupbes- 
cens). Painted Cup (Castilleia coccinea) . Spearmint (Mentha viridis). Heal-all (Brunella 
vulgaris). Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca.) Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) . Bracted 
Bindweed (Calystegia sepium). Bittersweet (Solanum Dulcafuara.) Fringed Gentian 
(Gentiana crinita). Milkweed (Asclepias—) . Xioghzn^ (Apocynum androsaemifolium). 
Garget (Phytolacca decandra). Pigweed iAmarantus retroflexus). Knotweed (Polygo- 
num-). Khnhaxh (R Ileum Khaponiic urn). Dock, Sorrel (A'^wzf.v— ) . KeMe (Urtica—) . 
Hop (Humulus Lupulus). Water Arum (Calla palustris) . Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus 
fastidus). Sweet ¥\a.% (Acorus Calamus). C^.t-i3.\\ ¥\2.g (Typha laiifolia). Arrow-head 
(Sagittaria variabilis) . Pickerel- weed (Pontederia cordafa) . Orchis (Habenaria Jimbriata 
2t.n6. psycedes). Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes cernua). Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodycra 
repens). 'Arethusa bulbosa. Calopogon pulchellus. Pogonia. Lady's Slipper (Cypripediuvt 
acaule). Star-grass (Hypoxys erecta). Blue Flag (Iris versicolor). Blue-eyed Grass 
(Sisyrinchium Bermudiana) . Greenbrier (Smilax rotundifolia). Nodding Trillium 
(cernuum). Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata and sessilifolia) . False Solomon's Seal 
(Smilacina bifolia 2inAracemosa). Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum). Lily (Lilium 
Philadelphicum and Canadense) . Rush (Juncus effusus.) 

Fauna. 59 

Of Ciyptogamous plants the Horse-tail family (^Equiseta- 
ceoi) is represented by several species ; and of the Ferns 
(^Filices) a large family, with their delicate or coarser fronds, 
the following species may be mentioned : Common Polypody, 
Maiden-hair, Common Brake, Spleenwort, Beech, Shield, 
(Ostrich, Sensitive, Cinnamon and Royal or Buck's Horn Fern. 

Club-moss (^Lycopodium) flourishes in the trailing ever- 
greens of our damp woods and hillsides. 

Mosses and lichens of many varieties are abundant. 

While the surface of the town is hilly and rocky, and the 
soil not deep, j-et her sunny slopes are very productive. The 
hills are crowned with luxuriant orchards, and the pastures 
and roadsides abound in grapes and berries. Apples, pears, 
peaches, grapes, berries and vegetables are extensively culti- 
vated for the Boston markets. Being only about twenty-seven 
miles distant from that city, these products can be shipped 
there, fresh, daily. 


Pioljably the Fauna of Boxborough is much the same as it 
was a hundred years ago. We find at the present time : musk- 
rat, with its cone-shaped meadow house ; mink, which inhabits 
the streams and ponds ; the gray rabbit of the woods ; the gray 
fox, and the si}', red fox, pest of our chicken yards ; the skunk ; 
the wood-chuck, our burrowing friend, lover of green peas and 
lettuce ; weasels, slender and agile ; squirrels, gray, red, (the 
Indian chickaree), flying, striped or chip-munk ; the nimble 
far-leaping deer-mouse ; shrew-mole and little, brown, star-nose 
mole ; the bat, one species ; wharf-rat, which causes the common 
Ijlack rat to disappear; the cunning field-mouse, and small 
mouse ; and raccoon with its baby's foot-print. 

The shooting of an eagle is a feat said to have been accom- 
plished by one of the citizens in earlier days. 

The following birds remain with us through the winter : 
crow, chickadee, snow-bunting, blue jay, English sparrow, black 
and white wood-pecker, quail and partridge. 

In early spring, often in March, the blue-bird, robin, song- 
sparrow, and blue snow-bird retuin from the Soutli. Later the 

00 Boxhorough : a New England Toum and its People. 

red-winged blackbird, gold-fincli, purple finch, pliebe and bobo- 
link make their appearance. Soon after, usually coming under 
cover of night, appears a host, and then, some fine morning we 
are fairly awakened from our slumbers by "■ Nature's Hallelujah " 
going on just outside our windows. Brown thrushes, black- 
birds, cuckoos, brilliant plumaged orioles, swallows, — barn, 
chimney and martin, — warblers, — yellow, black, and white, — 
wrens, cat-birds, vireos, wood-cock, cedar or cherry birds, 
whippoorwills, red-headed and downy wood-peckers, mourning 
doves, herons, king-fishers, fire-birds, ducks, king-birds and tiny, 
ruby-throated, humming birds, all conspire to make vocal the 
passing hours. Hawks and owls, bringing destruction in their 
path, make their appearance with the others, and northward in 
spring, southward in autumn, with their peculiar note, flocks of 
wild geese take tlieir flight. 

Among reptiles may be mentioned the tortoise ; black. 
In-own, green and striped snakes ; spotted adders ; lizards, and 
toads and frogs of many varieties. 

In the mid-summer and autumn, when the songs of the 
birds are hushed, the cricket and katy-did make field and woody 
copse resound with their weird music. 

Trout, pickerel, horn-pouts and minnows inhabit the streams 
and ponds. 

Sj^iders and insects*, too numerous to mention, abound. 
Some of them are pests and nuisances like the Colorado beetle, 
Avhile others, as tlie honey l)ee and butterfly, combine usefulness 
and beauty. 

To these may be added the vil)riones, bacteria, l)acillii, 
animalculae, and possibly that other microscopic family, the 
protista, if these may be called animals. 

•Some of the insects : Beetles, — long-horned, water, whirling, flat-boring, snapping, death- 
watch or ticking; fire flies, Dorr bugs, rose bugs, weevils, cucumber bugs, squash bugs, grass- 
hoppers and locusts or harvest flies, house and horse flies, dragon flies or devil's needles, saw 
flies, mosquitos, aphides, ants, wasps, hornets, bees of various kinds, butterflies, moths, 
caterpillars, cut-worms, canker worms, apple and meal worms. 

Induntrii'H and Shoemakers' ShopH. 61 



Sixty yeai-s ago or more coopering was quite an important 
business. Lumber was plenty, and beef, pork, fish and cider 
barrels were manufactured in large quantities. 

Cider-making was also extensively carried on in those days, 
and almost every farmer was careful to store in the autumn a 
goodly number of barrels of the enlivening beverage in his 
cellar. It was customary not only to use it freely in the famil}- 
1)ut also to " treat" with it at that time, and that one who was 
dilatory enough to be the last of the family to appear in the 
morning was doomed to be tapster. Something of the exces- 
sive use of cider may be gleaned from the remark of a farmer 
of this period who said, " I put eighty barrels into ni}' cellar 
last fall, and I had them all washed out by the first of March." 
Times have changed, and now there are very few who keep it 
even for their own use. 

After coopering came the hop-raising epoch, then the fruit 
and dairy business flourished for a time, followed by the milk 
and fruit business which engrosses the attention of the farmers 
at the present time. Small fruits have very recently Ijecome 
important. Most of the farmers are engaged in tlie production 
of milk for the Boston market. 

shoemakers' shops. 

Fifty or sixt}' 3"ears ago shoemakers' shops might ha\'e been 
found in Boxborough where the business was carried on to 

62 Boxhorouffli : a New Unr/Iand Town and its People. 

some extent. At Reuben Houghton's shoes were manufactured 
and five or six hands were employed ; also at Samuel and 
Nathaniel Mead's help was em})loyed. 


In the early days before the railroad there was an oil mill, 
Phinehas Stone, afterwards Benjamin Draper, proprietor, 
situated on Maurice Griffin's place. Later Reuben Draper 
owned a wheelwright and blacksmith's shop, and Ephraim 
R(^bbins, a grist mill, which he had built, — on the John 
(iriffin farm. The mill was afterwards owned by Stillman 
Whitcomb, a brother of Peter Whitcomb who subsequently 
came in possession of it. The mill interest was probably given 
up about that time. There was also a wheelwright and black- 
smith's shop on the hill for many years, occupied by Geo. L. 
Peters, — who was living then in Mr. Crouch's house which 
he built, — and a blacksmith's shop on the spot where the 
Orthodox parsonage now stands, in which Mr. Wheeler did 

A saw mill and a shingle mill once flourished above John 
Sherry's, on the brook flowing from the mill-pond situated 
wliere now are the smooth green acres of Horse Meadow. 

A comb factory existed at the Silas Hoar place for a good 
many years, and at C-harles Veasie's, William Emmons had a 
piano manufactory. Simon Draper had a shop for getting out 
piano stuff on the hill. It stood on a spot between where Mr. 
Lyman Mead's house and barn now stand. 

Mr. Edmund Fletcher, living on the Littlefield farm, Avas a 
pork-})acker, and carried on his Ijusiness at that place. 


Somewhere about 1830, before West Acton was, and when 
the neighboring villages were in their infancy, Captain 
Lyman Bigelow was proprietor of an old store on the hill, 
situated where Mr. William Moore's carriage house now 
stands. It was the largest one for miles around and was 
patronized from far and near, citizens of Acton, Littleton and 
Harvard comino- to it to do tlieir trading. In those days it 

Stores. 63 

was the custom — and Captain Bigelow's was no exception to 
the rule — for first chiss country stores to keep, in addition to 
a large variety of other articles, a goodly stock of liquors, thus 
doubtless increasing the number of their patrons. 

Sometime before Captain Bigelow's proprietorship, Mr. 
(xoodenough kept store, and also Mr. Hapgood ; Mr. Hapgood 
was killed l)y the accidental discharge of a gun in his doorway, 
and Captain Bigelow purchased the business, probably keeping 
the old stand for a short time. He afterwards built a new 
store. Captain Bigelow was succeeded in the mercantile 
l)usiness by George B. Talbot, Lyman Waldo Bigelow, 
William Pitt Brigliam, E. B. Cobleigh, Lyman Mead (about 
1854 ), and others, but the store was finally given up al)out 
thirty-five years ago. The new store building situated on the 
original site is now ]Mr. ]\Ioore's barn. The up[)er floor of the 
building in former daj's was used as a hall, and the old people 
of today — the younger generation then — smile as they tell 
you of the many dances they have attended in it. 

There was also a store for a short time, where Mr. Bramau 
now lives, kept by Mr. Solomon llager; and another situated 
in the corner of tlie pasture opposite the house where the 
Steele Brothers now reside, of which Samuel Hayward was 
pro[)rietor. These were both grocery stores sim^jl}-, the latter 
one doing business many years. Mr. Hayward's store building 
was finally removed to West ^Vcton in 1845, where it became 
Mr. Faulkner's house. 

woman's work and duties now and fifty years ago. 

" Forenoon and afternoon and night. 
Forenoon and afternoon and night. 
Forenoon and afternoon and — What I 
The empty song repeats itself. No more .' 
Yea, this is life. Make this forenoon sublime ; 
This afternoon a psalm : this night a prayer, 
And time is conquered and thy crown is won.'" 

If the idea advanced by the poet is correct then there is no 
material difference between woman's work and duties now and 
fifty or a hundred years ago. We fill the whole time with work 

64 Boxhorough : a New Um/land Town and its People. 

or duty of some kind, and as the poem has it, tlie hours and 
days, and years, repeat themselves, — and this is life. And yet 
there are differences in some departments of woman's work and 
duties of whic'li we may speak. Fifty years ago our mothers 
did not have as much sewing to do as do we, or at least they 
were sufficiently sensible not to do so much. Said a lady — 
one of our older citizens — in speaking upon this subject, 
" Fifty years ago my mother hired a dress-maker for the day, — 
and I think the remuneration at that time was about seventy- 
five cents, — and she cut and basted four dresses such as were 
then worn, within that time, and did it all by hand, having no 
help whatever in her work except what aid was rendered by 
one member of the family in the way of basting on piping cord." 
In this wonderful last decade of the nineteenth century, the 
average dress-maker requires the whole day, at the expense of 
one dollar and a quarter or more, to cut and plan one dress, 
and she inveigles all the ladies of the household into her work- 
room, and keeps them supplied with folds, puffs, tucks, cuffs, 
collars, etc., etc., besides calling to her assistance a New Home, 
Hartford, or Wheeler and Wilson sewing-machine. Now we 
do not wish to acknowledge that we are less active or energetic 
— in otlier words, less smart — than our fore-mothers, and so 
unable to do as much work in the same time, and therefore we 
conclude and say they did not put as much work into a dress, 
ordinarily, fifty years ago as they do today. 

Half a century ago the women of the household were up 
betimes setting and skimming milk, churning the cream, Avork- 
ing and putting up butter, making cheese, washing pans and 
pails, etc. Nowadays, a certain number of milk-cans are left at 
the housewife's door each day to be washed and placed on the 
rack to dry, and that is about all that most of us know of the dairy 
Ijusiness. Fifty years ago, all the knitting for the household 
was done by the women's active fingers. Now the greater part 
of our fannly hosiery is ol^tained from the machine-knit products 
of the dry-goods counter. 

Tliere was some weaving performed l)y the housewife fifty 
years ago ; coarse fabrics, such as frocking, cheese and strainer- 

Woinaii'i< Work Fifty Years Ago. 65 

clotli, were woven in the household. Even these are now, — 
as well as all other stuffs, — obtained from the factory 

At the beginning of the last half eentur}-, the washer- 
woman wearily turned and twisted and wrung the clothing 
IVom tub to tub, until hands and wrists ached with the opera- 
tion ; now, she quietly places the P^ureka, or Universal, clothes- 
wringer on the side of her tnl), jjresses her liege lord into 
service, finishes her Avashing betimes, and. comparatively 
TUiwearied, goes out and plays a game of cro(|uetor lawn-teiniis 
l)efore dinner. 

Fifty years ago the kitchen stove of a warm summer's day. 
or any other day for that matter, might be seen covered Avith 
kettles, — kettles for meats, kettles for vegetables, kettles for 
])uddings, kettles for water ; in short, no end of kettles to be 
lifted, cleaned and carried away, exhausting woman's time and 
strength ; now, a three-story steamer on one corner of the 
range and a water-tank upon the back part of the same take 
the place of all these inconveniences. Outdoor farming imple- 
ments have improved in even greater ratio. 

When the Lyceum first began in Boxborough, the gentle- 
men, for the most part, took whatever active parts were taken 
in it. One of the first questions for discussion was this : 
'^ Resolved, that the rich man is more independent than the 
poor man." Mr. Solomon Hager took the affirmative, and ^Ir. 
Samuel Mead the negative side of the question. Mr. Hager 
won the argument. This little incident would show that 
although woman's Avork and duties liaA^e changed somcAvhat 
within the last fifty years, men's ideas haA^e not, altogether, for 
that question Avould doubtless be decided in just the same Avay 
today. Beside the Lj'ceum, a half century ago, there were a 
fcAV balls, two or three spelling-schools, and perhaps a singing- 
school to be attended. The programme for 1891 is something- 
like this : Eighteen or tAventy regular (xrange meetings, twelve 
or fifteen sociables, tAvo or three Y. P. S. C. E. entertainments, 
a dozen or so District Grange meetings, half a dozen Mission- 
ary meetings, besides occasional gatherings of other kinds ; and 

66 Boxborovgh : a Neiv Enfjland Town and its People. 

for these must be prepared, — a reading for the Grange evening, 
a recitation for the sociable, music for the Y. P. S. C. E., a 
report for the Missionary meeting, an essay for the District 
Grange, etc., etc. These duties, — or shall we call them simply 
works ? — take the time and the strength of the women of 
today, whereas fifty years ago they scarcely were called upon 
for such work at all. These things, together with the duties 
of the home circle, at the present time, make the life of woman 
a very busy one. Today there is hardly any occupation or 
j)rofession of importance to which man aspires that woman may 
not attain, if she be only willing to work for it. And those 
women who are at liberty to take such positions, no doubt 
consider that in accepting them they are not only doing their 
work but their duty as well. But any position worth achieving, 
any work worth accomplishing, requires steady, persistent effort 
on the part of the one who would win the race. 

" No temple ever rose from base to dome, 

A dream embalmed in stone, without slow toil 

And patient hand ; * * * Divinity 

Has set its seal upon brave souls, 'free will,' 

That means they may achieve, create, subdue, 

And stand preeminent, the arbiters 

Of Fate and not her slave." 


Sometime in the early part of the [)resent century, through 
the efforts of Rev. Nathaniel Fletcher, — who formerly resided 
upon the D. W. Cobleigh place, and who died in 1834 while 
filling the position of selectman, — the benefits of a post-office 
were conferred upon the people of Boxborough. At first it 
was established in Captain Lyman Bigelow's store and Captain 
Bigelow was postmaster. He was succeeded in this position 
by his son-in-law, George B. Talbot, his son Lyman Waldo 
Bigelow, then by a nephew of Mr. Talbot, and William Pitt 
Brigham. Afterwards the post-office was removed to Mr. 
Jerome Priest's, with Oliver Wetherbee postmaster, who 
retained the position until the office was given up. After a 
time by a union of forces the Boxborough office was removed 

Lyceums. 67 

to the village of West Acton, and thus was made to serve for 
both places, the Boxborough mail, for some slight consideration, 
being sent on to that place by some one of her citizens. The 
l)ranch office at different times was stationed at James R. 
Hayden's, Mr. Jackson's, (Peter Whitcomb place), Mr. F'elch's 
and Mr. Walter Mead's. 

Fifty or sixty years ago iVIr. Haradon drove the old stage- 
coach from Concord to Harvard, and bringing the mail-bag 
deposited it at the house of Nathaniel Mead, whence it was 
taken by Captain Bigelow to the office in his store. Later Mr, 
Bridge of Harvard carried it with his four-horse stage, which 
afterwards degenerated to a tA\o-horse one, and finally was 
discontinued altogether as the railroad made its appearance. 
At last, no one wishing to be troubled with the care of the 
mail, it was no longer sent to Boxborough, but West Acton 
became the office for both places. 

Between fifty and sixt}- years ago, the old Lyceum held its 
meetings in the town hall. Captain Lyman Bigelow was 
president, Samuel Mead, vice-president, and Mr. Wood, secretary, 
i lere the town's people met together. Here the citizens made 
tlieir maiden speeches or gave utterance to their more finished 
flights of oratory. Later a young people's Lyceum was 
oi'ganized which held its meetings at No. 1 school-house, but 
this was neither so well attended nor so far-reaching in its 
influence as the other. 

Nov. 27, 1852, a Debating Club was organized Avith the 
following officers : Oliver Wetherbee, president ; Granville 
Whitcomb, vice-president; S. W. Draper, secretary; Eliab G. 
liced, treasurer ; Luke Blanchard, Reuben M. Draper and 
J>yman ^lead, directors. Ladies were admitted to the Club 
as honorary members. Tliirt3'-seven names appear upon the 
records of this society, which held its meetings onl}" until Jan. 
1855. Questions of world-wide interest were freely discussed 
l)y disputants appointed at a previous meeting ; among them 
we notice the names of man}- of the older citizens of today. 

68 Boxhorovf/h : a JVew Unf/Iand Toivn and its People. 

An interesting occurrence in connection with this short- 
lived organization was a Tea Party which was given in 1853. 

E. G. Reed, Luke Bhmchard, Mrs. A. A. Reed and Miss 
Caroline lUanchard were chosen a committee to superintend 

"the affair. Tlie committee reported a balance in their hand, 
over and above all expenses, of 1109.93, and it was forthwith 
voted to have a singing-school ; also, a committee was chosen 
to hire a master and su})erintend the opening of said school tlie 
following November. 

During the time that Rev. N. 'Jliompson was pastor of the 
Congregational church (1876-1881), another Lj-ceum was 
organized. It was the outcome of the Historical Society 
which had previously been formed through the influence of 
Mr. Thompson and his wife. The meetings of this societ}- 
were held at the parsonage. The following names were on its 
membership list : Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. G. 

F. Conant, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Blanchard, Mr. and Mrs. J. 
H. Orendorff, Mr. and Mrs. R. Y. Nelson, Cornelia Hayward, 
Clara Hamilton, JNIary E. Hager, and Clara and Quincy Hay- 
ward. With the thought in mind that perhaps an organization 
like the Lyceum would benefit a larger number, it was decided 
to merge the society in the Lyceum and the change was 
effected one evening at the vestry at a meeting of the Ladies' 
Circle. This last Lyceum flourished for a few years and then 
the interest flagged and the meetings finally ceased. Its place 
is very well supplied at present by the Grange. 


Many years ago the " Slam Bang Company " was an insti- 
tution in Boxborough. Mr. James Hayward of West Acton 
was a captain in this company, also Oliver Taylor, Sr., and 
Oliver Taylor, Jr. The oflicial titles of many of the older 
residents indicate their probable connection with it. In later 
times the " Boxborough Light Infantry Company " absorbed 
the interest of her patriotic young men. It Avas organized 
about 1838 or '40, with llie following commissioned officers: 
captain, \'arnum Taylor ; 1st lieutenant, W'm. Pitt Brigham ; 

PiihUc Library. (J9 

2d lieutenant, John Wetherbee ; 3d lieutenant, Solomon 
Hager; and 1st sergeant, Levi Stevens. Gayly equipped in 
their lilue broadcloth uniforms and white epaulets, they pre- 
sented a pleasing sight as they met annually for tlieir tln-ee 
days' training. 

An amusing anecdote is related of this company. Captain 
Taylor having resigned, the captaincy Avas tendered Mr. Brig- 
ham, the 1st lieutenant. He having declined the honor, the 
remaining officers v.ere passed by and the position offered to 
Corporal Dustin, a non-commissioned officer, who accepted it. 
One day, having promised to parade with liis company on 
Harvard Common, Captain Dustin started out with them; but 
upon arriving at Harvard line they refused to stir a step 
farther. Enraged at this behavior he marclied them over 
every road in town as far as the boundary line before he 
dismissed them. 


March 1(3, 1891, the town passed a vote availing them- 
selves of the provisions of the Acts of the I^egislature of 1890, 
Chapter 347, for promoting the establisliment of a Free Public 
Library. They appoiiited Mr. A. \\ . AVether])ee and Miss 
Mabel B. Priest trustees for one 3'ear, Mr. J. H. Orendorff and 
Mrs. Charles H. Burroughs for two years, and Mr. Albert 
Littlefield and Mrs. Simon B. Hager, for three years, and 
appropriated a sum of money sufficient to meet the State 
re([uirement, also one hundred dollars for general liljrary 
pur[)oses. At a meeting of the trustees, Mr. Littlefield was 
chosen chairman. ]\h\s. Hager, secretary, J. H. Orendorff, AL-s. 
C. H. liurrouglis and Miss M. B. Priest, finance committee, 
J. H. Orendorff. A. W. Wetherbee and A. Littlefield, library 
committee, and Ah-s. J. H. Orendorff, lil^rarian. One hundred 
and eighty-six volumes have Ijeen placed in the Lilmirj- Room 
at J. H. Orendorffs in charge of tlie libiarian, and there is a sum 
of money — al)out seventy dollars, a [)art of it the contriljution 
of the (irange — in tinanee conmiittce's hands for the purchase 
of more books. 

70 BoxhoroKfjh : a Neiv EngJand Town and its People. 


A Ma}' Party has been held at No. 3 school-house on the 
first of May every year for the past t\Yenty years. It originated 
with Mr. Oliver AVetherbee, superintendent of the schools. 
At first only a few families, taking their lunch with them, met 
togetliei- at the school-house, and spent the day })lanting trees 
in the school-yard. After a time, the yard being full, no more 
trees were set, but the occasion l)ecame one of reunion for tlie 
pupils and friends of the school. May 1, 1891, they held their 
twentieth reunion. Not onlj- the former })Upils with their 
families and friends, but guests from all parts of the town were 
present and participated in the bountiful collation at noon, 
also the interesting programme of music and speeches which 
succeeded it. Mrs. Simon B. Hager presented the following 
original poem : 

1871— 1S91. 

The twentieth year ! and once again, 
We stand within these walls today ; 
Within us beat the hearts of men, — 
Around us breathe the airs of May. 
A score of years ! not very long 
Since at the first a few there met 
And lunched to tune of Nature's song, 
And in the yard the tirst trees set. 

This house, then, like the day, was new. 
And hands were brisk and hearts were light ; 
We planted saplings and they grew. 
And year by year, to left and right, 
Increased in number, till the yard 
Was, — as our hearts are sometimes, — full ; 
Thenceforth from planting trees debarred, 
We 've come of Friendship's flowers to cull. 

Reunions three, within the score. 
The elements have had their will. 
Till darkling clouds could weep no more. 
And Nature's voice was hushed and still. 
Yet one, whose songs we oft recall, 
Wrote what is " best " for you and me ; 
" Into each life some rain must fall. 
Some days must dark and dreary be." 

Mafjazhie (Jluha. 71 

This gladsome day its fulness yields, 
We list the music of the rill ; 
The sweet May blooms are in the fields, 
We "ve but to stoop our hands to till. 
The twentieth year ! and sunny days 
Have been, as are the flowers of spring, 
As freely given along our ways 
With hope and gladness blossoming. 

Today, from homes afar and near, — 
The books and slates all left behind, — 
We come to join this May-day cheer, 
Assured we shall a welcome tind. 
Around the well-filled board we meet, 
(ilad reminiscences prolong, 
Take once again the pupil's seat. 
While well-known voices blend in song. 

Ikit through the branches of the trees, 

The leafy grove our hands have set, 

Is borne upon the quiet breeze, 

A whisper we may not forget; 

" We "re nol all here ! We 're not all here ! "' 

Ay, broken is our merry band ; 

This is, indeed, the twentieth year. 

And two have passed them o 'er the strand. 

They've entered in a higher class, 
Wliile parents, teachers, scholars, wait ; 
No more we '11 meet them, till we pass 
The ever inward turning gate. 
Again the zephyrs call anon ; 
"The Twentieth Year lifts up her voice ; 
Learn well thy task ; the victory won, 
Within thy Father's house, rejoice.'' 


A jMagaziiie Club was organized September 1879, which 
has ])een in successful operation clown to the present time. Mr. 
A. W. Wetherbee is president, and Mrs. J. H. Orendorff, 
secretary. Their periodicals, Atlantic^ iScribners, Century, St. 
Nicholas^ Harper's, Forum and Independent, are each passed to 
some one member to be kept for a specified time and then 
passed on to another for the same length of time until all have 
had the reading of them. Each citizen pays one dollar and a 
half a year for the privilege of becoming a member. 

72 Boxbonnu/h : a New England Toivn> an<l its People. 

Through the influence of Mrs. N. Thompson and Miss 
Minnie Burroughs, a Juvenile Club was organized a year ago, 
which has a membership of eighteen young people and is doing 
a good work. I'he fee is only twenty-five cents a year and the 
very Ijcst juvenile literature is taken. ^Nliss liurroughs has 
charge of it. 


Ordei- Patrons of Husbandry. Hon. (). II. Kelley now of 
Fh)rida originated it Dec. 4, 18(17, in Washington, I). ('. The 
oi'der i'a|)idl)^ increasing spread throughout our country and 
even into the liritish provinces, gathering a large membersliiiJ. 

Boxborough (Irange No. 131 was organized in March 188(5, 
and held its first regular meeting March 11, of that year. Mr. 
A. Littlefield was chosen master, Mr. J. H. Orendorff, over- 
seer, ]\Iiss ]\Iabel B. Priest, lecturer, and Mrs. .1. M. Orendorff, 
secretary. Mr. Littlefield was followed by S. B. Hager and 
A. M. Whitcond) in the master's chair; jNIessrs. C. T. Wether- 
bee, S. B. Hager, W. H. Furbush and A. M. Whitcomb have 
served as overseers; Miss M. E. Hager, Mr. C. T. AVetherbee 
and Mr. A. Littlefield have filled the lecturer's jxisiiion and 
.Mr. J. II. Orendorff, Miss M. E. Hager, Miss M. 15. Priest, A. 
M. Whitcomb and Miss N. S. l^oring, have held the office of 

The present mendjcrship is fifty-four. The organization 
liolds its meetings at the; town hall the second and fourth 
Friday of each month from October to March inclusive, the 
remainder of the year, one meeting upon the second Friday of 
each month. 

'I'he oljjects of the (Irange are to educate and elevate all 
those who become members of it. The order of exei'cises at 
the meetings consists of readings, recitations, essays, music, or 
discussions u[)on the various agricultural subjects. 

farmer's club. 

Boxborough Farmer's Club was organized Ahir. 2, 1874, at 
the house of Mv. E. B. Cobleigh, b}^ the following choice of 
officers : president, E. B. (*obleigh; vice-president,!). W. Cob- 

Farmer s Club. 


leigli : secretary, A. W. Wetlierbee : treasurer, N, E. Whitcomb. 
These officers must have been faithful to tlieir duties, for they 
were repeatedly chosen and served continuously until 1881, when 
a new board was elected. At first, they held their meetings 
once a week, through the winter season, at the housese of the 
members — later, once in two weeks, a })art of the time at the 
Town Hall, and agricultural <|uestions of interest and 
importance were freel}' and helpfully discussed. Quite a 
number of open meetings have been held for which pleasant 
and profitable entertainments have been prepared. It is cus- 
tomary for the Club to have a biennial fair and dinner, at the 
Town Hall, a custom originating in 1874, the same year the 
organization began its existence, and which (the first fair 
having been pronounced a ^'- decided success '") has been kept 
alive ever since. 

The CTiib has also been accustomed to give an annual oyster 
supper and entertainment. The first one was given in 1876, 
the second year of its organization. 

We give a list of officers during the seventeen years of the 
Clul)"s existence. 

E. B. Cobleigh, 
George F. Conant, 
J. H. Orendorff, 
J. F. Hay ward, 

D. W. Cobleigh, 
S. H. Hoar, 


lo years. A. Littlefield, 

I year. C. T. Wetherbee, 

I year. C. H, Burroughs, 
I year. 


9 years. N. E. Whitcomb, 

I year. 
3 years. 
I year. 

6 years. 
2 years. 

I year. G. Veasie, 


A. W. Wetherbee, 17 years. R. T. Cobleigh, i year. 


N. E. Whitcomb, 8 years. E. B. Cobleigh, 2 years. 

D. W. Cobleigh, 5 years. J. H. Orendorff, 2 years. 

Wm. Moore, i year. 

There are sixty-live names on the mem1)ership list at the 
present time. 

74 Boxhoroiifih : a Nero Emiland Town and its People. 

ladies' circle. 

The Ladies' Social Circle, an important accessory in the 
work of the Congregational Church, was organized April 23, 
1842, and is now, therefore, nearing the farther shore of half a 
century of benevolent work. The first meeting — at which a 
constitution was adopted ^ — was held at the house of Rev. J. D. 
Farns worth. The following articles of this code of laws may 
be of interest : 

Article 1. This Society shall be called the Boxborough 
Female Sewing Circle. 

Article 2. The object of this Society shall be to do good 
by raising and appropriating funds for benevolent purposes, by 
the avails of our labors and industiy, and by the contribution of 

Article 3. Any female ma}^ become a member of this Soci- 
ety by paying annually the sum of twenty-five cents, and regu- 
larly attending the meetings. Children under sixteen years of 
age may become members by paying annually twelve and one- 
half cents. 

The society organized with tliirteen members, whose names 
are hereby given : Rebecca M. T. Farnsworth, Dolly H. Wright, 
Hannah W. Cobleigh, Maria Stevens, Mary Ann Hayward, 
Susan Hayward, Harriet A. Hayward, Anna Hayward, Sophia 
L. Hayward, Eliza Ann Hayward, Sophia Stevens, Louisa S. 
B. Wetherbee, and Lucinda Wetherbee. 

May 10, 1842, the Society met at Mr. Farnswortlrs and 
elected its first officers ; viz., Mrs. R. M. T. Farnsworth, presi- 
dent ; Mrs. H. A. Hayward, vice-president; Mrs. H. A. Hay- 
ward, secretary ; and Miss Mary A. Hayward, treasurer. 

June 13, 1855, the name of the organization was changed 
to Boxborough Social Circle, and the Society reorganized with 
thirty-nine members, the names of eleven gentlemen appearing 
on the list at this time. At this meeting, beside other changes. 
Article 2d of the Constitution was revised so as to read : '' The 
object of this Society shall be to raise funds to repair our church," 

The treasurer's books show that several hundred dollars were 
contributed toward the recent repairs upon the church, that the 

LadieH' Circle. 75 

young people — banded into a society among themselves — gave 
the pulpit furniture, and items of substantial pecuniary aid 
mark the records all- along the way, especially during tlie later 
years. In earlier times work for the needy ones more particu- 
larly filled up the hours of the Circle afternoon, and during the 
late war, much was done to assist the soldiers by the ladies of 
this society, but now that work on this line is less called for, 
their energies have l)een expended in raising money for church 
expenses and church work. We quote the following from the 
treasurer's book : "April, 1884, Paid toward minister's salary, 
!|35.93 ; 1885, 8 dozen chairs, #18.00 ; tin roofing, *16.50 ; fuel 
for church, #12.84 ; 188G, toward note, 175.00 ; 1887, plating 
knives and forks, 114.40; coal, 114.27; 1888, painting parson- 
age, 150.00; coal, -114.07; 1889, painting church, labor, paint, 
brushes, etc, 148.60 ; 1890, lumber, nails, work, etc., for three 
sheds, 184.86." These items are interspersed amid numerous 
smaller items, showing that the financial assistance rendered 
the church in this way has been considerable. The credit side 
of the account shows that funds for these purposes were raised 
from suppers, festivals, entertainments, membership fees, 
work, etc. 

" In Memoriam," by Mrs. C. A. Nelson, under date of 1881 
of the secretary's books, will show something of the character 
of these devoted workers. She writes : " Since our last record 
was made, one of our members has passed from earth to heaven. 
We all know of the weary days and nights of suffering which 
foi' many long weeks has been the lot of our sister, Mrs. Cath- 
arine W. Hayward. Some of us know something of her quiet 
resignation and patient waiting for the coming of her Lord. 

" Her name appears upon almost the first page of this book, 
and occurs with much frequency all through its record of forty 
years, many times as one of its chief directors. Always a ready 
cheerful worker, delighting in any service for God and His 
church, we turned often and instinctively to her to lead the 
way in all good and wise enterprises which our Circle wished 
to undertake for the church or the poor and needy. 

76 Boxhorongli : a JVew England Town and its People. 

" During the months that we were working to accomplish all 
we might in the way of raising funds for the furnishing of our 
repaired church, or making ready the carpet purchased for it, 
Mrs, Hayward w^as full of zeal and good works, and their per- 
fume seems not yet to have departed from the Sanctuary which 
she loved and labored for. 

" In Septeml)er, Mrs. Joseph K. Blanchard, for nearly forty 
years a member of this Circle, and for a longer time of the 
church, passed to her rest after very brief sickness, a true 
' Mother in Israel,' a woman of faith and prayer, and beloved 
of her God. 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.' We 
trust, though at times we hardly see it, that it is expedient for 
us that they are gone away, if only we will not hinder the Lord 
from sanctifying our loss to all our souls ; for hearts that are 
never bruised and sorrowful feel no need of the Comforter. 
'Wliom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.' " 

Again, in 1888, another token of remembrance is recorded : 
" Since our last meeting one of our band, Mrs. Stevens Hay- 
ward, has left us and gone to her reward. She had been among 
us over forty-five years, and usually a member of this societ}^ 
We'shall miss seeing her face at these gatherings. She was one 
who enjoyed such occasions, although her health was such that 
much of the past year she was unable to be present with us." 

The records all the way along speak to us of earnest 
endeavor and faithful service rendered to the Master. 

The following names are recorded as officers of this Society. 


Mrs. R. M. T. Farnsworth, 6 yrs. Mrs. I). Mc Clenning, i year. 

Mrs. John Wetherbee, i year. 
Mrs. N. Thompson, 2 years. 
Mrs. M. E. Wood, 4 years. 

Mrs. George Dustan, 3 years. 
Mrs. George A. Perkins, 4 years. 


Mrs. B. S. Mead, 2 years. 

Mrs. E. W. Hayward, i year. 
Mrs. M. E. Wood, 8 years. 


R. E. G. Luce, 

3 years. 


C. W. Hayward, 

5 years. 


A. Jackson, 

I year. 


J. K. Blanchard, 

I year. 


S. J. Holbrook, 

I year. 



H. A. Hayward, 

2 years. 


C. W. Hayward, 

6 years. 


S. A. Whitcomb, 

3 years. 

Missionary Society and Y. P. S. C. E. 77 

Mrs. M. C. Davis, 3 years. Mrs. N. E. Whitcomb, 6 years. 

Mrs. M. Stevens, i year. Mrs. C. A. Nelson, i j-ear. 

Mrs. J. Whitcomb, i year. 


Miss Mary A. Hayward, 2 years. Miss Lucy A. Blancliard, 3 years. 

Miss Lucinda VVetherbee, 3yrs. Mrs. A. W. Wetherbee, i year. 

Miss Susan T. Farnsworth, i yf. Mrs. Minnie L. Kingsbury, 7 yrs. 

Miss Anna Hayward, 5 years. Miss Mary E. Hager, 7 years. 

Miss M. M. Wetherbee, i year. Mrs. Chas. L. Woodward, 1 yr. 
Miss Maria Whitcomb, i year. 


Mrs. H. A. Hayward, i year. Mrs. Alice Hayward, i year. 

Mrs. L. S. B. Wetherbee, i year. Miss C. A. Blanchard, 4 years. 

Miss Mary A. Hayward, 8 years. Mrs. Chas. L. Woodward, 4 yrs. 

Mrs. Mary H. Stevens, i year. Miss Mary E. Hager, 4 years. 

Miss M. M. Wetherbee, i year. Mrs. E. C. Mead, 7 years. 

The Society liolds its meetings the first Thursday of each 


A missionary society of fifteen membere was formed Dee. 1, 
1887, which holds its meetings once a quarter in connection 
with the Circle. Mrs. (7. A. Perkins, president, and Mrs. S. 
B. Hager, secretary and treasurer, have continued in these 
positions ever since the organization of the society. Thouo-h 
the numljer of members is small a goodly sum of money is 
appropriated toward the cause of missions each year. 

Y. p. S. C. E. 

A Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was also 
organized three or four years ago among the young people of 
the church, which holds its meetings Sunday evenings in the 
vestry, before the regular prayer meeting. 


The following is a copy of a list of the tax payers of Box- 
borough in 1789 : — 

Names. • Polls. Real. Personal. 

Dea. Oliver Mead, . . . . i 297 28 

Ins. Samuel Wetherbee, . , . i 300 22 

Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

Sam'l Wetherbee, Jr., 
Simeon Wetherbee, 
Silas Wetherbee, 
Isaac Batchelor, 
Levi Wetherbee, 
John Surges, 
Henry Coolledg, 
James I). Coolledg, 
Silas Stone, 
Benjamin Stevens, 
Capt. Oliver Taylor, 
Lt. Solomon Taylor, 
John Taylor, 
Abel Whitcomb, 
Lt. James Whitcomb, 
Eleazer Stearns, 
David Stearns, 
Jonathan Stearns, 
Joseph Meed, 
Jonathan Croutch, 
Leonard Whitcomb, 
Jonathan Croutch, Jr., 
Ens. Timothy Croutch, 
Lemuel Sawyer, 
Oliver Sawyer, 
Oliver Sawyer, Jr., 
Joseph Sawyer, 
James Robins, 
Jotham Whitcomb, 
Ens. Benjamin Robins, 
Jacob Robins, 
David Croutch, 
Dea. Phinehas Farbank, 
Samuel Meed, 
Capt. Joseph Farbank, 
Silas Rand, 
Dea. Amos Farbank, 
John Sawyer, 
Eliphelit Wood, 

















1 12 




































Tax Pi 




Polls. Real. 


Isaiah Whitney, 



John Codman, Esq., 


Lt. Nathaniel Longley, 


Jeremiah Priest, 


Wid. Mary Priest, 



Joseph Houghton, 



Joseph Willard, guardian. 


Oliver Houghton, 




Samuel Worster, 



Prince Chester, 



Aaron Whitney, 


John Croutch, 




John Croutch, Jr., 



Allin McLain, 


John Lomas, 


Timothy Shattuck, 




Wid. Anna Houghton, . 



Wid. Anna Robins, 


Jacob Warren, Heirs, 


Thomas Gates, 


Doct. Daniel Robins, 




John Robins, 


Jeremiah Priest, 


Richard Goldsmith, 


Daniel Robins, 


David Dickerson, 


Sampson Worster, 

Elias Warner, 

Elijah Priest, 


Yqy 1844, — lifty-tive yeai> 

later, — the Reside 

nt list is 

jis follows : — 

Total Tax. 

Total Tax. 

Simon Blanchard, $16.50 

Garret J. Bradt, 


Joseph K. Blanchard, 3.77 

Wm. P. Brigham 



John Blanchard, 4.64 

Barnard Battles, 


Luther Blanchard, .48 

Lyman Bigelow's 

Heirs, 13.22 

Joseph Blanchard, .50 

John S. Brooks, 


Joseph Blanchard's Heirs, 4.60 

Lucy Chester, 

1. 17 

Marshall Blanchard, 1.7 i 


ce J. Chester, 


80 Boxhorough : a 

New Etifihind Town and iU People. 

Total Tax. 

Total Tax. 

Jas. S. Chester, 


Benj. W. Priest, 


George T. Chester, 


Jerome Priest, 


Daniel Cobleigh, 


Dio 0. Page, 


John Cobleigh, 


Nathan Patch, 


Jonathan Crouch, 


Benj. H. Patch, 


Daniel McCarthy, 


Jona \V. Patch, 

I. II 

Wm. Davis, 


Isaac Patch, 


Benjamin Draper, 


Liberty C. Raymond, 


Leander G. Dustan, 


Samuel Sargent, 


Wm. H. Emmons, 


Samuel Sargent, Jr., 


John Fletcher, 


William Stevens, 


James D. Farnsworth, 


Oliver W. Stevens, 


Lewis H. Graham, 


Levi W. Stevens, 


James C. Graham, 


James Stevens, 


James Hayward, 


George A. Stevens, 


Stevens Hayward, 


Jasper Stone, 


Stevens Hayward, 2d, 


Henry Smith, 


Ebeneazer Hayward, 


Varnum Taylor, 


Albert Hayward, 


Samuel Hill Taylor, 


Samuel Hayward, 


Geo. B. Talbot, 


Joseph Hayward, 


John Wetherbee, 


Martin Hayward, 


John Wetherbee, Jr., 


Arnold Hayward, 


John Wetherbee, 2d, 


Paul Hayward's Heirs, 


John R. Wetherbee, 


Solomon Hager, 


Oliver Wetherbee, 


George Hager, 


Simeon Wetherbee, 


John Hoar, 


Emory Wetherbee, 


Cephas Hartwell, 


Samuel Wetherbee, 


Phinehas W. Houghtor 

1, 3.10 

Silas Wetherbee's Heirs, 


Tower Hazard, 


Moses Whitcomb, 


Stillman Jewett, 


Moses Whitcomb, Jr., 


Edmund Lawrence, 


Daniel \^'hitcomb, 


Lankford Lawrence, 


Ephraim Whitcomb, 


Henry G. Lewis, 


Ephraim Whitcomb, Jr., 


James Mace, 


Joel Whitcomb, 


Oliver Mead, 


Joab Whitcomb, 


Samuel Mead, 


Peter Whitcomb, 


Nathaniel Mead, 


Peter Whitcomb, Jr., 


Sampson Moore, 

1. 01 

Granville Whitcomb, 


Benjamin Priest, 


Merrill Whitcomb, 

. .62 

Tax Payers, 1889. 


Wid. Sally Whitcomb, 


Jacob Littlefield, 


J. Lyman Whitcomb, 


Oliver W. \\'hitcomb. 


Peter Wheeler, 


Hiram Davidson, 


Joel Wright, 


Wid. Lucy Hayward, 


Joel E. Wright, 


William Withington, 


Carshena Wood, 


Abel Howe, 


John H. Wood, 


William \Mlliston. 


Joshua R. Russell, 


For 1889, one hundred year 
luive the following names from 

E. B. Cobleigh. 
Wm. Moore. 
Jerome Priest. 
Andrew Crouch. 
Morris Griffin. 
Ed. Griffin. 
John Griffin. 
John Sherry. 
N. E. Whitcomb. 
Chas. Brown. 
Oliver Mead. 
Emery Mead. 
Walter Mead. 
Oliver Stevens. 
Philip Cunningham. 
Newell Chester. 
Mrs. Mary Willis. 
James S. Chester. 
Giles S. Chester. 
Simeon Wetherbee. 
Stevens Hayward. 
Amasa A. Richardson. 
Lewis W. Richardson. 
J. W. Hayward. 
Dea. M. E. Wood. 
Mrs. E. A. Hayward. 
M. Coffey. 
John Coffey. 
John McGrath. 

s later than the first record, we 
the assessor's books : 

Wm. Withington. 
James S. Braman. 
S. N. Wetherbee. 
Uria Stone. 
J. H. Whitcomb. 
E. C. Mead. 

C. H. Blanchard. 
R. Y. Nelson. 

J. B. Loscow. 
J. B. Perkins. 
Albert Perkins. 
A. Littlefield. 
George Blanchard. 
John Blanchard. 
Simon Hartwell. 
Jerome Whitney. 
Granville Whitcomb. 
W. White. 
.Vlvin Parker. 
O. Ewings. 
J. S. Wright. 
W. H. Gooch. 
Ephraim Cobleigh. 
Nelson Cobleigh. 
A. W. Campbell. 
Geo. F. Keyes. 
Chas. H. Veasie. 
Veasie Heirs. 

D. W. Cobleigh. 


Boxhorough : a New Enfiland Toivn and its People. 

C. H. Burroughs. 
J. R. Hayden. 
Peter Whitcomb. 
George A. Perkins. 
Steele Brothers. 
Mrs. E. L. Battles. 
John Bezanson. 
George W. Burroughs. 
George Brown. 
W. H. Brown. 
George W. Barnard. 
Stanley A. Barton. 
Mrs. Ann Cobleigh. 
Harriet Cobleigh. 
A. J. Chester. 
Thomas Connors. 
Chas. Cameron. 
James Croft. 
Mrs. R. J. Ewings. 
Jerry Griffin. 
Mary Griffin. 
Michael Griffin. 
John Gooch. 
Charles H. Griffin. 
J. Q. Hayward. 
W. J. Hayden. 
Charles Myers. 
Arthur McGinis. 
Alex. MacDonald. 
Miss Sarah Hager. 
Mrs. E. B. Hager. 
Edward Wetherbee. 
C. T. Wetherbee. 
Silas Hoar. 
J. H. Orendorff. 

Mrs. D. W. Cobleigh. 
J. A. Walker. 
J. F. Hayward. 
B. S. Mead. 
B. S. Hager. 
W. A. Perkins. 
James Profit. 
Thomas Redwood. 
George W. Stone. 
Mrs. J. E. Shufelt. 
T. C. Steele 
John Tracy. 
A. W. Wetherbee. 
Daniel Whitcomb. 
Betsey Whitcomb. 
Whitcomb and Hager. 
Arthur H. Wetherbee. 
Caroline B. Wetherbee. 
Betsey Walker. 
Andrew M. Walker. 
E. W. Whitney. 
E. C. Society. 
Chas. Williston. 

D. W. Cobleigh, Veasie Prop'ty. 
Peter Whitcomb, Adm. 
Burpee Steele. 

Church Steele. 

J. Littlefield Estate. 

E. L. Woodward. 
S. B. Hager. 

W. H. Furbush. 
S. P. Dodge. 
R. T. Cobleigh. 
John R. Cobleigh. 


From the State Census for 1885, we quote the follow 
items : 



Unmarried men from 19 to 80 years of age 
Married men from 19 to 80 years of age 
Boys 19 years of age or under 
Men 80 years of age and above 
Females unmarried, 19 to 80 years of age 
Females married, 19 to 80 years of age 
Girls 19 years of age or under 

Women 80 years of age 


xnd above 


Number of A^oters 

Number of Families (average size 4.14) 
Number of Dwelling-Houses 
Farmers ..... 

Farm Laborers .... 
House Wives .... 

Paupers ..... 










Butter (sale and use), 7,796 lbs. value 

Milk, 249, 974 gals, value 

Cream, 233 gals, value 

Canned fruit (use) 4, 677 lbs. va 

Eggs, 12,203 <i<^2- value 

Poultry dressed, 2,680 lbs. value 

Firewood (sale and use) 563 1-2 cords, value 

Lumber, 269 M ft. value 

Indian Corn, 2,815 bu. value 

Fruits, Berries, Nuts, total value , 

Hay, Straw, and Fodder, total value 

Beef, Pork and Veal, total value 

Vegetables, total value 

All other products 

Total .... 

$ 2,207.00 















84 Boxhorongh : a New England Town and its People. 


Boxboroiigh is decidedly a temperance town, having voted 
" No License " ever since the Local Option Law has been in force. 


Sixty years ago or more, the town bought the small place 
where Mr. Edward Wetherbee now lives, for the use of its poor, 
Mr. Abel Davis and wife, an aged couple who were able to per- 
form the daily work of the farm and household, but were 
deficient in this world's goods. They remained here several 
years until the death of Mr. Davis, who accidentally fell from 
an apple-tree and was found with his neck broken. The town 
soon disposed of the farm, and since that time the indigent ones 
have been cared for in private families, wherever it could be 
done the most reasonabl}", the town paying the expense. 





In this age, when not only the history of towns, but family 
history, is of such wide-spread and enduring interest, a short 
sketch of some of the older residents may not be out of place. 
We notice, in the early records of the town, the names of 
Cobleigh, Wetherbee, Taylor, jNIead, Whitcomb, Haj^ward, 
Blanchard, Hager, Stevens, Chester, Wood, Patch and Hoar, 
whose desendants are still Avith us ; while others, as Bigelow, 
Hazzard, Stone and Conant, although none of these now 
remain, are of equal interest. 


[From Genealogy of the Bigelow Family.] 

Lyman Bigelow of Boxborough, Mass., son of Gershom and 
Mary (Howe) Bigelow, was born in Marlborough, April 25, 
1795 ; married, April 15, 1819, Jane Brigham, daughter of 
Jedediah and Lydia (Boyd) Brigham, born in Marlborough, 
April 23, 1798. 

They moved to Boxborough, where he engaged in the mer- 
cantile business and quickly became a leading citizen in town ; 
was selectman for many years, represented the town in the 
(ieneral Court and served in many other town offices ; was 
postmaster for a long time, and died in Boxborough, March 13, 
1842. His widow survived him over forty years, and died in 
Norwood, Mass., January 26, 1886. 

86 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

■ Their children were : Jane E., born Feb. 5, 1820 ; died 
at Norwood, Mass., Feb. 13, 1888 ; married twice, first to James 
Brown, second to Hon. Jos. Day. 

Mary Louise, born Dec. 15, 1821 ; died at Norwood, Mass., 
March 29, 1888; married Rev. Josiah W. Talbot. 

Augusta B., born Sept. 10, 1823 ; died, Sept. 1, 1852 ; 
married George B. Talbot. 

Caroline, born Oct. 29, 1825; died, Jan. 29, 1851 ; married 
Cephas Hoar. 

Lyman Waldo, born March 7, 1828 ; died Dec. 6, 1886 ; 
married Catherine B. Howard. 

Lindolf Willis, born August 16, 1836 ; died Sept. 7, 1856. 

Lyman Waldo Bigelow obtained his education in the 
district schools of Boxborough and at the Lawrence Academy 
in Groton ; at the completion of his studies he engaged in 
business in his native town. In the spring of 1853, he 
removed to So. Dedliam (now Norwood) and engaged in the 
business of a general country store. By sound business 
principles and the most unswerving honesty and integrity he 
built up a large and prosperous business, which at the present 
time is carried on by his two oldest sons. 

In 1872, when that part of Dedham was set off and incor- 
porated as the town of Norwood, he was chosen its first 
treasurer, which office he held up to the time of his death, Dec. 
6, 1886. He was deeply interested in the welfare of the 
Universalist Church of which he was a member. The cause of 
temperance, as well as all other movements tending to improve 
and help society, found in him a staunch and willing supporter, 
both by his influence and mesins. He was thoroughly conscien- 
tious in all of his acts, which, together with his strict integrity 
and courteous manners, gained for him the highest respect from 
all classes in the community where he so long resided. 


Thomas Blanchard, and his son George, born 1616, came 
from near Andover, England, in the year 1639, on the ship 
" Jonathan," and settled in Charlestown, (now Maiden) Mass. 



Blanchard Family. 87 

Joseph, son of George Blanchard, born 1654, married Hannah 
Shepal-d. Joseph, son of Joseph and Hannah (Shepard) 
Blanchard, born May 7, 1686, married Elizabeth Whittemore 
and in 1717, or 1718, moved from Charlestown "through the 
Indian paths " to Littleton, — that part of Littleton which is now 
Boxborough, — and settled on the place now occupied b}' 
Albert Littlefield. They had two children, Jemima, born Dec. 
21, 1721, and Simon, born Oct. 6, 1728. Jemima was un- 
married and died in 1790, aged sixty-nine j^ears. Simon 

married Sarah , and they were the parents of four 

children, among whom were Calvin, born Feb. 27, 1754, and 
Luther, born June 4, 1756, the brothers whose names have 
become familiar to us through their participation in the fight at 
the old North Bridge, Concord, in 1775. Calvin married 
Abigail Reed of Westford. The foregoing information with 
regard to this branch of the early Blanchards was obtained 
from Mr. George D. Blanchard, of Maiden, Mass., who has 
been engaged for several years in collecting genealogical 
records of the Blanchard family. 

Calvin and Abigail (Reed) Blanchard w^ere the parents of 
nine children, Abigail, Calvin, Luther, Simon, Jemima, who 
died in infancy, Joseph, Lucy, John and Susannah. Abigail 
married Reuben Hartwell, of Shirley; Calvin married (1) 
Hannah Hoar, (2) Nancy Warren, both of Littleton. Calvin 
and Hannah (Hoar) Blanchard had five children of whom two 
died in infancy. Jemima, their oldest child, married Mr. 
Parker, the father of James A. Parker of Littleton. Luther 
Blanchard (1782-1861) was unmarried and resided with his 
brother John at the old homestead until his death at the age of 


Simon Blanchard, the third son of Calvin and Abigail 
(Reed) Blanchard, was born in Boxborough, Apr. 3, 1784. 
His father having been killed by a falling tree when Simon 
was only fifteen years of age, and the eldest son Calvin — as 
was the custom in those days in our own land, and as it is still 

88 Boxhorough : a New Enyland Town and its People. 

in Europe, — having taken possession of the ancestral home- 
stead and most of the property, Simon was thenceforth thrown 
upon his own resources. He first went to Littleton, where he 
learned the cooper's trade of Joseph Fletcher, grandfather of 
Mrs. Geo. W. Sanderson, who lived at that time on what is 
now the Tenney place at the centre. He remained there work- 
ing at his trade for seven years, until his marriage to Martha 
Shattuck (1788-1812) who was a descendant of Kev. Benj. 
Shattuck, the first minister of Littleton. They were married 
in the house now occupied by Mr. G. W. Sanderson, in the 
same room where a grandson, Arthur F. Blanchard, and Miss 
Charlotte T. Sanderson were united in marriage, Jan. 28, 1891. 
Returning to Boxhorough, Mr. Blanchard settled upon the 
farm where his grandson, Herbert Blanchard, now lives. 
Here he continued to work at his trade while carrying on a 
small farm. Early going into hop-raising, a business then in 
its infancy but soon after extensively engaged in by many 
farmers and towns, he continued in the business until the total 
amount of his yearly productions in that line exceeded that of 
any hop-grower in New England. Every farmer in town 
cultivated them, and Boxborough was probably at that time 
the largest hop-growing town of its size in New England. In 
the meantime ]Mr. Blanchard had worked into dairying and 
fruit-raising to some extent, being prospered in whatever 
direction he lent his energies. He was a successful farmer, 
having by his industry and perseverance accumulated a 
property of some 't70,000 at a time when a man would be as 
rich with |5,000 as he would today with $20,000. He added 
to his farm from time to time until it extended over four hun- 
dred acres and into Acton, perhaps the largest farm in the 
county. He erected the present buildings in 1833. 

Simon Blanchard and Martha Shattuck, his wife, were the 
parents of two children, Simon and Martha. 


Simon Blanchard, son of Simon and Martha, was born in 
Boxborough, Jan. 29, 1808. Apr. 23, 1839, he married Eliz- 


(3 -ryr^i^L^aTa^ 09-c^^^-^-^c^ 


The Blanchard Family. 89 

abeth Dix Fletcher, diiughter of Jonathan Fletcher, and their 
three children are as follows : William, born Apr. 3, 1840, 
married Nettie M. Stacy, of Stoddard, who, after his death, Feb. 
15, 1877, with her two children, Arthur W., and Gracie M., 
returned to her former home ; Ellen Ann, born Sept. 13, 1851, 
married Calvin N. Holbrook, Jan. 1, 1873, — they buried one 
little girl in cliildhood and with their three boys reside in 
Littleton; — Elizabeth Fletcher, born Oct. 31,1856, married 
Amasa Knowlton of Acton, and they, with their three children, 
reside in that place. Simon Blanchard, Apr. 15, 1877, 
married Susan Wheeler, daughter of .Vbner Wheeler, for his 
second wife. 

Mr. Blanchard resides in the northwest part of the town of 
Acton, on the road from West Acton to Littleton, in a pleasant, 
substantial farm-house, where lie has lived for more than half 
a century. For the past few years the infirmities of age have 
somewhat gained upon him, but he is still interested, as was ever 
his wont, in all that concerns the town, state, or national wel- 
fare. He never sought public positions, but has pressed forward in 
the footsteps of his father, and by steady industry and persever- 
ing labor throughout his early and later days has acquired for 
himself a competence. Tliough deprived of the privilege of 
going out among his relatives and friends as freely as in former 
years, he yet enjoys their company, and the hearty handclasp, 
genial smile and pleasant word await all who call upon him for 
a friendly chat. 

Martha Blanchard (1810-1891) married Samuel Sawin of 
Stow, Apr. 3, 1834, and of their five children, one died in 
infancy ; Samuel Dexter, married Caroline Elizabeth Simons, 
and their only child, Charles Dexter, is a physician of note 
in Charlestown ; John Travis, married Sarah Whitney Sawyer, 
of Bolton, and they had four children of whom two are 
living ; Martha Maria, married Marcus Morton Raymond, of 
Boxborough. and of their three daughters, one, Nellie Morton, 
died young, and the other two, Carrie, — married Alonzo B. 
Cushing, June 18, 1890, — and Ella, reside in Somerville, 
the present residence of their father, and the place where 

90 Boxhorovgh : a New Eiu/land Town mid its People. 

their mother died ; Simon lilanchard Sawiii died at the age of 

Samuel Sawin, the father, died Mar.15, 1875, and is buried 
in Stow, where a few montlis ago his widow was also laid. 
Samuel Dexter died in Boston in 1890. 

October 27, 1814, Simon Blanchard, the elder, married Mary 
Keyes, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Boyden) Keyes, of 
AVestford, and sister of Hon. John Keyes of Concord, for his 
second wife. Before her marriage, while a resident of her 
father's home, she wove cotton cloth for some years for the Paw- 
tucket Falls (now Lowell) factories, the yarn being sent her for 
that purpose. She also hatcheled, spun and wove flax for home 
use. She kept her spinning-wheel and loom, and after her mar- 
riage, spun and wove both cotton and woolen cloth for her large 
family. The flax and wool were raised upon the farm, and all 
of the work was done by hand. She also wove woolen blankets, 
towelling, and a better quality of f rocking than could be 
bought at the dry-goods counter. She was a busy worker, and 
spun and wove a great deal, especially winters, making a 
business of it, and often kept her place at the loom long after 
the rest of the family had retired. She used her spinning- 
wheel 'as long as she lived, but gave up weaving sometime 
})revious to her death. The dairy business also kept the house- 
wife busy, and INIrs. lUanchard often made one hundred pounds 
of butter a week, and always a large amount. 

Simon and Mary (Keyes) Blanchard, were the parents of 
nine children, Calvin, who died when Ave years of age, Joseph 
K., Sarah, Mary Ann, Luke, Elizabeth, Caroline, John, and 
one little girl who died when two weeks old. Joseph K., 
(1815-1888) married Mary Culver, of Boston, Apr. 7, 1840, 
and they had eight children : Mary Eliza, Phoebe Ann, and 
Joseph Hermon, who died in childhood, Emily Frances, Caro- 
line Augusta, Calvin Herbert, and Willard and Warren, twins. 
Emily Frances married Ephraim Raymond and resides in 
Somerville. They have buried one child and have six living. 
The two oldest children are married. Augusta Raymond 
UKii-ried William H. Furbush, and they, with their four 


• ■^■ 

^ ii^i^^p 


m .^m 




Leonard ChcmdJer. 91 

children, Joseph, Edith, Ralph and Gertrude, are settled on 
the old Phinehas Wetherbee place. The next daughter, 
Hattie, married Ernest Bezanson, and resides in Charlestown. 
Caroline Augusta Blanchard married Richard Y. Nelson, and 
resides in town. The}^ have buried one little daughter, Alice, 
and have three children living, Mary, Am}- and Arthur. Cal- 
vin Herbert married Sarah Lauder, and is settled on the old 
place where his father and grandfather lived before him. 
They have l)uried one child and have four living, Hermon, 
Carl, Clayton and Fann3\ Willard Blanchard married Jennie 
Furbush of Maine, and they had three children, of whom one 
died in infancy. Mr. Blanchard died about ten years ago, and 
Jennie, his wife, about four years ago. Warren Blanchard 
married Nellie A\"ebber, and of their five children only three 
are living. They reside in Southborough. Joseph K. 
Blanchard has been interested in both the church and the town. 
He served as Superintending School Committee, selectman, 
assessor and auditor for several years, and was an earnest and 
efficient member of the Congregational church for over fifty 
years. He died in 1888, aged sevent3--three. His wife Mary 
(Culver) Blanchard died about ten 3-ears ago. 

Sarah Blanchard, born Apr. 10, 1820, married Leonard 
Chandler, of Princeton, Oct. 12, 1842. 


He was a descendant of William (l)orn iji 1598) and Annie 
Chandler, who came to Roxbury, Mass. in 1637. William, son 
of William and Annie, married Bridget Hindi man and lived in 
Andover, Mass. Joseph, son of William and Bridget, married 
Mehitable Russell of Andover. John, son of Joseph and 
Mehitable, married Hannah Phelps of Andover. John, son of 
John and Hannah, born July 18, 1750, married Katy Holman 
of Lancaster, afterwards Mary Jackson, of Westminster. 
Ephraim, born June 9, 1783, son of John and Mar}-, (Jackson), 
married Mary Powers. Leonard, son of Ephraim and Mary 
(Powesr), born ^Iir. 3, 1817, married Sarah Blanchard as 

92 Boxhorough : a Netv England Town and its People. 

Leonard and Sarah (Blanchard) Chandler, were the parents 
of six children: Sarah Frances, born Sept. 20, 1843, married 
Henry Hobbs of Princeton; Ella Jane, born Nov. 21, 1846, 
resides in Cambridge; Martha Caroline, born June 7, 1849, 
died Apr. 9, 1865. Leonard Blanchard, born Aug. 29, 1851, 
married Hattie Stewart, and they, with their three children, 
reside in So'merville ; John, born Apr. 16, 1853, is unmarried 
and remains on the home farm ; Willard Smith, born Jan. 16, 
1862, died Apr. 13, 1865. The children were all born in 
Princeton, and Martha C. and Willard S. died there. 

Leonard Chandler was born and lived until twenty-one 
3^ears of age on the farm where his father and grandfather 
lived and died. On coming of age, he went to East Princeton 
and learned the chair trade, at which he worked until his 
marriage. He then bought the farm which he owned at the 
time of his death, adjoining the old Chandler place where he 
was born. When he bought the farm, there were no fruit 
trees and he could keep but two cows and a horse. At the 
time of his death he had from fifty-five to sixty head of cattle, 
and fruits of all kinds were produced abundantly. It is one of 
the best farms in Princeton at the present time. 

Mr. Chandler was always a resident of Princeton Avith tlie 
exception of years 1857 and '58 when he lived in Boxborough. 
He served his town as one of the overseers of the j)oor for a 
great many years, was one of the assessors, and filled other 
town ofiices. He was postmaster for four years. 

Mary Ann Blanchard, born July 27, 1822, married James 
Fisher Sawin, Nov. 28, 1844, and lives in Natick. Only four 
of their eight children are living ; Simon Blanchard, Phares N., 
Martha and Lizzie Ida. Simon Blanchard Sawin married 
Alice Leland of Sherburne, and the}' have four children. 
Phares, Martha and Ida, remain at home. 


Luke Blanchard, third son of Simon and Mary (Keyes) 
Blanchard was born in Boxborough, Jan. 17, 1826. Simon 
Blanchard, the father, taught his children how to work, and 

pc^^vdyk/ S^^C^i^r'^c.J^^^iy^-^^ 

Liilce Blanchard. 93 

this son was no exception to the rule. After he was seven 
yeai-s of age, he attended school only in the winter, being out 
two weeks of the short term of ten or twelve weeks annuall}- 
for the purpose of driving the ox-team which drew the hop 
poles for the next seasons use. His only holidays were fourth 
of July and one half day at election. There were many things 
which even a child could do on a farm, such as riding horse, 
driving oxen, stripping and shaving hop poles, working in the 
hay-field, loading hay, etc., and carrying the hop pickers back and 
forth, many of whom came from Westford. Mrs. Cynthia (Reed) 
Sargent, a niece of Abigail (Reed) Blanchard, who now lives 
in the finest residence in Graniteville, was one of those same 
hop pickers, and Mr. Blanchard often carried her to and from 
her home in Westford. Notwithstanding the Avork, the bo3's 
and girls had merry times in those old hop-picking days. The 
large charcoal kilns, for drying the hops, were tended at night 
by one or two of the men, and liere the young folks ^vould 
gather in the evenings for the [)urpose of roasting corn, — 
common field corn as sweet corn was tlien unknown, — and 
enjoying themselves after their day's work; retiring at the 
evening's close, the girls to the house, the boj's to the barn, for 
so they were accomodated, to prepare themselves b}^ needed 
rest for the coming day's labor. 

When eleven years of age, during the fall season, he began 
driving an ox team to Boston, loaded with heavy farm products, 
cider, hay, hops, i)otatoes etc., while his brother Josepli, with a 
one horse wagon, teamed butter, cheese and eggs to the same 
market. The elder brother disposed of the younger brother's 
load, but Luke was left behind at West Acton, and did not see 
Joseph again until he arrived in the city. He walked ever}- 
step of the way making inquiry wdien necessary as to the route. 
One of his experiences clearly shows that it was no easy work 
for an eleven year old boy. One day as he was returning 
from his Boston trip, lie was overtaken b}^ a cold northeast 
storm. It l)egan raining at noon, and he drove his team 
through the storm until midnight. He was thinly clad as w^as 
the custom with the farmer lads, and Avas completely chilled 

94 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

through, long before arriving at West Acton. Here he 
obtained an extra wrap from relatives, and with this added 
protection, pushed forward to his father's home. At the age 
of fifteen the ox team was enchanged for a two-horse wagon, 
and a year later, his brother Joseph having married, Luke took 
his place and ran the team for his father until twenty-one years 
of age, although the heavy produce of the farm was sent on 
cars after the Fitchburg Railroad went into operation in 1845. 
When he was twenty, he attended school at Nashua, N. H., 
one term. After becoming of age, having the commission 
business learned, but without capital, for his earnings previously 
had been turned over to his father, he continued the 
business, — which steadily increased although competion was 
sharp and lively, — over the railroad. 

He is, if not the largest, one of the largest exporters of 
apples of any single individual in Boston. He commenced 
shipping among the earliest and has always followed it. He 
owns a refrigerator at West Littleton and thus has facilities 
for storage. 

Mr. Blan chard is an extensive real estate owner in Middle- 
sex and Worcester counties. He also owns a large tract in 
New Brunswick, and another in Vermont near Hoosac Tunnel, 
on the Deerfield river. 

Besides these private interests, he is still engaged in the 
produce and commission business at 20 Faneuil Hall Market, 
Boston, — which he has leased for the purpose, — under the 
firm name of L. Blanchard and Co., is interested in the Over- 
all Factor}' of A. F. Blanchard and Co., at West Acton, and is 
head of the firm of Blanchard and Chase, engaged in lumbering 
in N. H. 

Mr. Blanchard held the oi3ice of constable and collector, 
assessor and auditor for five or six years in Boxborough, and 
has served on the school board three, and on the board of over- 
seers six 3'ears in Acton. He has remodelled his buildings and 
woiked his lands about West Acton, and so has helped greatly 
to improve the village. He married Miss Jerusha Vose, Apr. 
8, 1858, and they were the parents of four children, Mary 

Caroline and John Blanchard. 95 

Florence, born Aug. 8, 1859, died when two years and four 
months of age, Anna Maria, born Oct. 7, 1862, Arthur F., born 
Jan. 21, 18G4, and Mary Alice, born Dec. 21, 1867, died Feb. 
2, 1889. 

Elizabeth lUanchard married Benjamin S. Hager. For 
further history of this branch, see Hager family. 

Caroline Blanchard married Simeon Wetherbee, of Box- 
borough, and they have eight children : M. Llewellyn, AUie 
v., Ellis, Burt L., Mary K., Arthur H., Ella F., and Carrie li. 
Llewellyn is married and living in Boston ; Allie V. married 
Morton Ka3-mond, of Somerville, and they have one son, John 
Raymond ; Ellis married Annie R. Cowdrie of Boxborough, 
and they w4th their three children reside in Harvard ; Burt I^. 
is in business in Boston ; Mary K., married George M. Whit- 
comb, of Charlestown, and resides in that place. Arthur. H 
married Miss Nellie Mentzer, of Harvard, Sept. 24, 1890, and 
is settled on the home farm in Boxborough ; Ella F. is teaching 
in Ayer, and Carrie B. remains at home. 

John Blanchard mariied Anna M. Snow, and they are 
settled in Lawrence, Mass. They have buried one child, and 
the remaining daughter, Lillian, is at home preparing herself 
for a teacher. 

Simon Blancliard, tlie father of the foregoing family, was a 
man of delicate health but good constitution, and by carefnl 
living, regular habits, and constant observance of the laws of 
health, his life and strength were preserved for many years. 
He was one of the board of assessors at one time, but he was 
a man who never sought the honors of town office. 

Mary (Keyes) Blanchard died Oct. 23, 1863, aged 72 
years, and is buried in the Blanchard tomb, — built by Simon 
Blanchard in 1359, — at Mt. Hope cemeter3% West Acton. 

In 1864, Simon Blanchard married Mrs. Hannah Preston, 
of Boxborough, for his third wufe. He died July 1, 1867, 
aged 83 years, and is buried in the family tomb at West Acton. 

Joseph, son of Calvin and Abigail (Reed) Blanchard, 
married Louisa Marshall, of Tewksbury, and settled on the 
Reed farm where the buildings were recently destroyed by 

96 Boxhorongh : a New Enyhind Toivit and ita People. 

fire. Their seven cliildren were, Joseph, Marshall, Henderson, 
Solon, Abby Ann, Mary Louisa and Calvin. Joseph, Hender- 
son and Mary L., are all married and living at the West. 
Joseph is a physician. Marshall married Charlotte Reed, of 
West Acton, and died in California. He left one child. 
Solon is married and living in Weymouth. Abby Ann 
married Eliab Heed, and died on the Reed farm, leaving one 
child. Calvin is unmarried, and lives near Weymouth. 

Joseph Blanchard, Senior, was given to learning, a teacher 
and lecturer, and very talented for the times. He was Deputy 
Inspector of hops, and for a short time raised the most of any 
farmer in town. He died Mar. 20, 1835, aged 46 years. 

Lucy, dangliter of Calvin and Abigail, married Amos Day 
of Shirley. 


John lilanchard, youngest son of Calvin and Abigail 
(Reed) Rlanchard, was born on the old farm in Boxborough, 
Aug. 17, 1704. His father lived there before him, having 
moved from the Whitney place where he formerly resided ; and 
his mother, left a widow when her son John was but five and 
one half years of age, made licr home lliere as long as she lived. 
After her death, Mr. Blanchard took the farm which he carried 
on as long as he lived. He erected the present buildings -in 
1844 — 45. He was a great hop-raiser, having carried on the 
business for more than half a century, from his eighteenth to 
his seventieth year. He was also sub-inspector of the product. 

He was quite a fruit^raiser, peaches being his s})ecialty. He 
had a large peach orchard at one time, — the trees of which he 
budded himself, — and raised and sold many bushels of the 
delicious fruit. 

Mr. Blanchard has acted as road surveyor and once was 
unanimously chosen selectman, but naturally of a quiet retir- 
ing disposition, he declined the office. He took a great interest 
in the Anti-slavery cause, voting alone in town for several 
years. He was liberal in giving, especially in his 3'ounger 
days, yet doing it unpretendingly and without ostentation. 

Mri<. Marijaret Blanehard. 97 

He was formerh^ a member of the I'nitarian church in 
Littleton (Rev. ^Ir. Foster, Pastor,) of which his mother was 
also a member until she was seventy-eight years of age, when, 
her views changing, she united with the Baptist church in 
Littleton. ]\Ir. John Blanchard subsequently united with the 
same church, where he helped to erect two buildings — one 
having been burned — and then with several others removed 
his connection to West Acton Avhere they helped to build the 
tii-st l^aptist church in that village, ^Nlr. Blanchard superintend- 
ing the work. 

Subsequently, when this building was also l)urncd, he Avas 
requested to ovei'see the erection of the present edihce, but he 
declined the position. 

When forty-five years of age, Apr. 17, 183S, lie married 
Miss Margaret Burbeck, the ceremony Ijeing performed in 
AV'estford by Be v. Oliver Ayer. 


Mrs. ]\[argarct (I>url>eck ) lUaiichard was born in Holder- 
ness, X. H., in 1813, l^ut at the time of her marriage was living 
with her brother at Westford. Brought up in tlie Orthodox 
church from childhood, she yet favored the views of the 
Baptists, and refusing to unite with the Congregationalists, 
upon removing to Westford, became a member of the Baptist 
church at Chelmsford, afterwards removing her connection to 
Littleton, and finally, making her church home with her 
husband at AVest Acton. 

The Blanchard family have in their possession a line like- 
ness of Henry Burbeck, a great-uncle of Airs. Blanchard. He 
is dressed in the style of "ye olden time," ruffled shirt front 
and liigh cravat, his regimental coat with wide lapels and 
broad collar, decorated with epaulets trimmed with heavy gold 
lace, and buttons, and the thick curling hair gathered into a 
({ueue behind. 

I quote from Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia : " Henry 
Burbeck, an American ofHcer, Born in Boston, June 8, 1754. 
He was a soldier in the Revolution and was appointed Captain 

98 Bo.rh<>roi((jh : a Nctr En;ihm<l Toirii and itx People. 

under the Confedeiation, May 1787. In 1789 be was com- 
missioned a Captain of Artillery, Major in 1791, Lieut. Col. in 
1798, and Colonel in 1802. 

He served Avitli distinction in tlie Iievolntionary war, tliat 
of 1812 Avitli Great Britian, and in frontier service. He was 
brevetted brigadier-general in 1813, and retired from the army 
June 1815. He died at New London, Conn. Oct. 2, 1848." 

^L-. and INlrs. lUanchard had eight children, ^fyron, who 
died in childhood, Abbie, Cliarles, Clara, Juliette, Lucy A., 
George and l^onisa ^I. Abbie married Mr. N. E. Whitcomb 
of Boxborongh, and they have two sons, Ai'thur M. andAValdo 
E. ; Clara is living with an uncle in Salem; Juliette is at 
home: Lucy A. married Mr. (George IL Decosta, and they 
with their two children reside at West Acton ; Charles is 
married, and settled in Eden, Dakota ; George remains on the 
home farm, and Louisa INL married Mr. CUiarles A. Dudley and 
resides in East Caml)ridge, Mass. 

INIr. and Mrs. IVlanchard commemorated his ninetieth birth- 
day by a celebration at the old homestead, jNlonday, Aug. 18, 
1884. Many relatives and friends took this opportunity of 
expressing by their presence and congratulations, the affection 
and esteem in which the worthy couple were held. The 
picture from whicli the [)ortrait was engraved was taken at 
that time. Mr. lilanchard's autograph was written Avhcn he 
was ninety-two years of age. He died July 30, 1889, when 
within eighteen days of his ninety-fifth birtliday, and is 
interred at Mount Hope cemeter}-, West Acton. His widow 
resides with her son at the old homestead. 

Susannah, daughter of Calvin and Abigail, married Abner 
Wheeler of Acton. They had eight children. Mr. Wlieeler 
died young, and his widow afterwards married Pelatiah Brooks, 
of Acton. They had one child. Mrs. Brooks died in Shirley. 

The first Calvin Blanchard was in the whole Revolutionary 
war. He was at tlie battle of liunker Hill on the 17th of June 
1775, and was in some other engagements during the war. He 
was one of those who hel[)ed to Imild the forts on Dorchester 
Heights, the building of which caused the British troops to 
leave Boston. He lived to return home and settle on a farm 

JamcH Stacy Braman. 99 

tliat is iit tlie present time, and has always l)een, in the 
[)Osession of tlie JUancliards. He was killed by the fall of a 
tree, Jan. 2, 1800. 


Benjamin and Charlotte (Crossman) Braman, tlie grand- 
parents of James Stacy, of Boxborongh, were born in Brighton, 
Mass., and spent their days there. They were the parents of 
seven childien, Benjamin M., William L., Lorenzo H., Elias 
(r., James F.. Cnrtis W. and Charlotte A. James Freeman 
Biaman married Miss Mary E. Stacy, of Concord, a niece of 
John Stacy, the bookseller and printer. Nathaniel Stacy, of 
Harvard, was also an uncle of Mrs. Braman. Mr. and Mrs. 
-lames F. Braman had six children, William H., George S., 
James S., Lizzie M., Abbie J. and Lydia A., only three of 
whom are now living ; Al)bie J., wlio mari-ied Frederic O. 
Crout, of Ashland, and with her hnsband, and son, Frank, 
resides in that place ; Lydia A., the wife of Mi'. William 
Withington, of Box])orongh, son of John AVithington, of Stow, — 
they have two dangliters, Eftie M. and Eva L — and James 
Stacy, who married Fannie ?]., eldest danghtei- of Ceorge and 
Mary E. (Ahern) Knight, of Lndlow, ^lass., and resides on 
the farm whicli has been in possession of the Braman family 
ai)out twenty-three years. The house was built by Simeon 
Wetliei'bee, Norman AW'therbee's father. jNIr. and Mrs. James 
S. Braman have six children whose names are as follows: 
Willie II. and Ada M., twins, (xeorge S., Clarence F., J. 
Waldo and Benjamin E. 

]\Ir. James S. Braman' is a farmer, but works also at the 
carpenter's trade. He was a member of the school board for 
tliree years. His father, James Freeman Braman, served the 
town as selectman, assessor, and overseer of the poor, four 
years. Mrs. Mary E. (Stacy) Braman died Mar. 27, 1858, at 
the age of forty-one, and was l)uried in Maiden. Mr. Braman 
married for his second wife, i\lrs. II. L. (T^owell) Bingham, of 
Washington, N. IL, avIio died Aug. 5, 1877, at the age of 
sixty-five, and is Inuied in lioxborough. Mr. Braman died 

100 Boxhorough: a New England Town and its People. 

Apr. 25, 188(3, aged 71 years, 22 days. His funeral was 
attended by Boxhorough Grange, No. 131, of which organiza- 
tion he was a charter member, — his phice seldom being 
vacant, — and the (xrange burial service was used. He lies in 
the hill cemetery. 


Some thirty-five years ago, Charles H. Burroughs, born in 
Alstead, N. H., Mar. 9, 1882, settled upon the farm which he 
now occupies in the southeast part of the town. He received 
the estate from his father, Zabine Curtis Burroughs (1800-1885)^ 
who had occupied it before him. Samuel Burroughs, born 
Mar. 25, 1843, a brother of Charles H., served in the late Civil 
War four years, but though in several battles, that of 
Winchester among them, he was never wounded. He is now 
living at West Acton. An uncle of these brothers, Samuel 
Burroughs, has three sons, Samuel, Edward and Walter, who 
are noted physicians in the state of Illinois. The second son, 
Edward, is a very skilful surgeon. 

May 21, 1857, Charles H. Burroughs married Miss Mary 
E. Brown, daughter of Hermon and Sophronia Brown, of New 
Ipswich, N. H. May 22, 1882, they celebrated their silver 
wedding. The marriage anniversary was also the anniversary 
of their daughter Lizzie's death. Mrs. Ihown has made her 
home with her daughter, Mrs. Burroughs, for the past sixteen 
years, since her husband's death, and although ninety years of 
age, seems to be in excellent health, for one so advanced in 
years, at the present time. We quote from the " Vermont 
Phoenix,'' — of which paper Mr. Addison Brown was editor for 
a great many years, — an article published in 1867 regarding 
a reunion of the Brown family, at New Ipswich. "Just before 
the Revolutionary war l)roke out, two brotlicrs, John and 
Josiah Brown, then young men, removed witli tlieir families 
from Concord, Mass., to New Ipswich, N. H., and settled near 
each other on new land situated on a high elevation called, 
' Flat Mountain. ' They carried with them, strength, energy, 
patriotism, and a strong religious faith. Here in this new 

Charles H. Burroughs. 101 

country they felled the trees, cleared up the forests, and in due 
time made for themselves and families, comfortable liomes. 
They both reared large families of childien, who in tlieir turn 
married and had larg-e families, whose numerous descendants 
are now scattered fai- and wide throughout the land. John and 
Josiah traced their lineage back to Jolm Brown, who came 
over to this country a few years after his brother Peter, of the 
May Flower, and settled in Duxbury Mass. Old John Brown, 
the martyr, ' whose soul is passing on ', was prol)ably a 
descendiuit of Peter, of the May Flower. Josiali Brown 
married Sarah Wright, and they raised a famil}' of twelve 
children, who lived to adult age, married and reared large 
families, several of whom settled in AVliitingham in this 
county. It is somewhat singular that tlie birth of these 
twelve children followed each other in the following order, — 
three sons and a daughter, three sons and a daughter, three 
sons and a daughter. Two of each of the families of John and 
Josiah intermarried. Reuben, son of .John, married his cousin 
Sarah, daughter of Josiah ; and Aaron, son of Josiah, married 
his cousin Hannah, daughter of John. Tlie last couple lived 
with the parents of Hannah, took care of them during their 
declining years, and resided on the same farm during their own 
life-time. They luid six cliildren, one, a daughter, was killed 
l)y tlie kick of a horse, when about eight _years of age ; the 
next, a son, died in infancy ; the hfth, a daugliter, Avas married 
to W. ('. Billings, of Northfield, Mass., and died in 1836. 
Three sons are still living, Addison, of Brattleboro, Hermon, of 
Boxborough, Mass., and John S., of Lawrence, Kansas. Last 
week, these three brothers with their wives, Mrs. Eliza J. Pao-e, 
wife of Wm. M. Page, St. Louis, ]\Io., an adopted daughter of 
Aaron and Hannah Brown, and Charles Burroughs and wife, 
daughter of Hermon, with two young cliildren, met at New 
Ipswich, visited the graves of their ancestors and relatives that 
had gone to the better land, and went to take a view of the 
old farm on Flat Mountain, where tlie three sons were born 
and passed their early years. There they had a picnic on a 
high rocky ridge, and called to mind days and events gone 

102 Boxhorougli : a Neio England Town and its People. 

by. They were accompanied on this excursion by an ohi 
friend, lienjamin Davis, aged 80 jears, who entered into the 
spirit of the occasion with the enthusiam of a young man, 
walking up steep places and over rough rocks, with a firm, 
quick step. jMr. and ^Irs. Benjamin Davis received and 
entertained the i)arty at their house, where everything was 
done for the comfort and enjoyment of the guests. The enter- 
tainment was planned and directed by Mrs. Page, to whom 
much credit is due for the very pleasant gathering of friends 
and relatives. One evening there was a large tea-party of 
neighbors and friends who came in to greet and welcome those 
who had come from a distance to this family gathering. Here 
were the extremes of age met together. The oldest was 
Joseph Davis, brother of Benjamin, who lacks but about four 
months of 90 years of age, and is yet bright and active, showing 
still, evidences of former vigor and energy. The youngest 
was George W. Burroughs. Josiah Brown, mentioned above, 
was a man of great strength and power of endurance. ' He 
took part in the Revolutionary struggle, fought at the Imttle 
of Bunker Hill, where lie was Lieutenant under Capt. Towne, 
of a volunteer com[)any from New Tpswicli, and wlien more 
than four-score years of age, at the mention of Bunker Hill, he 
would brighten up with new life, and describe incidents of the 
battle as vividly as though it liad just taken place. It was a 
great jdeasure and gratitication to l)e present at this family 
gathering, to see friends who had l)een long separated, to talk 
over the past, and to thank' (iod togetlier for liis innumerable 
blessings." Mrs. l^urrouglis has in her possession an old 
family Bible containing the ancestral records as far l)ack as 
1743. Dr. Samuel Prescott who was associated with Paul 
Revere in his famous " midnight ride," was a great-uncle of 
Mrs. Burroughs' mother, tfe was born Aug. 19, 1751. Wm. 
l^rescott, M. D., sa_ys of him in his '^ Prescott Memorial," ''On 
his return from Lexington, in the night preceding the 19th of 
April, 1775, — where he had spent the evening in j^aying his 
addresses to the daughter of a Mr. jNIulliken, he soon overtook 
Paul Revere and Mr. Dawes on their way to Concord. When 

Charlei< H. Burroinjh^. 103 

the three had arrived near Plartwell's tavern in the lower 
l)Ounds of Lincoln, they were attacked hy four IJritish soldiers 
of a scouting party sent out the preceding evening. Revere 
and Dawes were taken })risoners. Prescott was also attacked, 
and had the reiJis of his horse's bridle cut, l)ut he succeeded 
in making his escape by jumping his hoise over the wall; and 
taking a circuitous way through Lincoln, he pushed on with 
the utmost speed to Concord, and gave the alarm of the 
approach of the British. Mc was sul)sequently taken prisoner 
on l)oard of a privateer, and carried into Ihdifax, Nova Scotia, 
where he died in prison."' William II. I'rcscoll, the historian, 
is also connected willi this family. The name Prescott is taken 
from two words meaning priest and cottage. John Prescott, 
the first one of the family Avho came to this country, settled in 
what is now Lancaster, and the town Avas named in his honor 
from Lancastershire Co., England, from which he came. He 
was a powerful, athletic man, l)rave and eni'igiilic, and followed 
the occupation of a l)lacksmitli. lie brought with him to this 
country, a coat of mail, armor and habiliments all complete, 
and it is therefore sup[)Osed that some of his people might 
have been warriors. This armor was of great service to him in 
his dealings with the Indians, Avhose superstitious fears were 
easily excited by means of its wonderful impenetrability. On 
one occasion, having many times, in astonishment and terror, 
seen their bullets glance from his armor without any apparent 
injury to himself, they drew near and asked him with regard to 
it. Mr. Prescott showed the armor to the chief, and at liis 
desire, placed the helmet upon the Indian's head. It did not 
seem to fit the Indian cranium as well as it did the Saxon, for 
it is recorded that it slipped down nearly to the chief's ears, 
and in one place scraped off the skin. An interesting anecdote 
is related of Jonas, the son of John Prescott. He had sought 
and obtained the affections of a beautiful girl whose name was 
Mary Loker. But tlie lady's parents, who were in high 
social position, looked down on the blacksmith's son, and 
decided that their daughter must marry a certain lawyer who 
had shown her some attention, but whose suit she in no wise 

104 Boxhorough : a New EnyliDid Town, and its People. 

favored. The son of the bhicksmith was forbidden the house, 
but, encouraged by the fair J\larj, he came against lier parents' 
wishes. Then her window Avas grated, and whenever her 
forbidden suitor called, she was locked into her room. Young 
Prescott continued his suit, but paid his addresses to his fair 
one under her window. Learning of this state of affairs, the 
parents sent the girl secretly to Chocksett, — now Sterling, — 
for a prolonged stay with friends. The young man sought un- 
successfully for his affianced for a time, but finally he happened 
upon the town Avhere she was visiting. Falling in with some 
young men with whom he was acquainted, he asked them if 
there were any pretty girls in town. Without immediately 
satisfying his curiosity, they told him that there was to be a 
quilting party that evening in the village, and gave him an 
invitation to be present and decide for himself. He went, 
found his lady among the fair ones gathered there, managed to 
become lier partner in a dance at the close of the evening, 
arranged a plan for future meetings, and continued his 
attentions as before. Her parents were soon apprised of the 
new state of affairs, and recalling her home, told her peremp- 
torily that she must marry the lawyer, or, if she still persisted 
in the way she liad chosen, they would cut her off Avithout a 
penny. This did not shake the resolves of the lovers, but 
hastened their marriage. They had no property, and when 
Mary began house-keeping, she had only a two quart kettle, 
and half the shell of a pumpkin for a wash tul), as utensils. 
Yet she lived and })rospcred, reared a family of twelve 
children, and died, leaving 175 descendants, at the age of 82 
years. Of this beginning sprang all the warriors, doctors, 
jurors, lawyers, historians and civilians of the Prescott family. 
Benjamin, the youngest son, Avas sent Kepresentative to the 
General Court from Groton, at the age of 27 j^ears, and held 
this position for seven or eight years in succession. 

Humphrey Prescott, of Gai'lisle, is a brother of ]\Irs. Brown, 
Mrs. Burroughs' mother, the}' two being the only surviving 
members of the family. Mr. and Mrs. Burroughs have four 
children living, Minnie L., George W., Charles H. and 

The Chester Famili/. 105 

Marian E. The great sorrow of their lives was the death 
from scarlet fever. Ma}' 21, 1880, in Fitchbnrg, where she was 
attending school, of their second daughter, Lizzie, when only 
sixteen years of age. Minnie L. is a graduate of the 
Worcester Normal School, and has l)een engaged in teaching 
for several years, most of the time in South Hraintree. At 
present she is teaching in her own home district, Xo. 4, 
George AV. and Charles H. are at home with their father, and 
Marian E. is attending school at Ashburidiam. Mr. and JNIrs. 
burroughs are highly esteemed by all who know them. Mrs. 
Burrroughs was a teacher in one of our schools before lier 
marriage, and is (luite literar}' in her tastes. 

Apr. 2(1, 1891, Kev. John S. Brown, a Unitarian minister, 
son of Josiah Brown, and an uncle of Mrs. Burroughs, who has 
reached the advanced age of 85 years, walked one mile to 
church, preached an interesting sermon of forty minutes 
duration, and then walked back to his home. lie is a i-esident 
of Lawrence, Kansas. 

The house where Mr. Burroughs lives, bears evidence of 
being one of the oldest in town, and there is quite an interest- 
ing history connected Avith it. We have already referred to 
the Taylor family who resided here in former days. In 
Ephraim Taylor's time, it was used as a hotel, and the ancient 
sign-board was, until very recently, in existence. One portion 
of the second story of the building, — now divided into 
chambers, — was, in the days of the hotel, used as a dance 
hall. The old nuister-iield was formerly situated near this old 
homestead, Avhere Mv. A. A. Richardson now cultivates a large 
corn-field, and Mr. T^urroughs, a field of as})aragus. 


Phineas Taylor once kept a negro maid-servant on the 
Burroughs farm, whose descendants are living in town, and 
own property here at the present time. Mr. Taylor obtained 
the child when a babe, in Boston, making payment therefor 
with a box of butter. " Either the child could not have been 
worth much, or the box of butter must have been very large, as 

106 Boxhorou(j]t : a JVeiv England Toivn aiid its People. 

the l)est butter was not more than twelve cents a pound in 
those days," leniarked a descendant as the incident was related. 
But so the story has been handed down from one generation to 
another, until the present time. Having journeyed to Boston 
on horseback after his purchase, jNlr. Taylor brought her 
home on a pillion behind him. Tliey named her Gate Taylor, 
and she served the family thirty years, when she was given 
her liberty. Mrs. Willis, a grand-daughter of Gate Taylor, has 
the freedom papers in her possession. The following is a copy : 
" Know all men by these Presents that I, Phineas Taylor 
of Stow, in the Gounty of Middlesex in the Provence of the Massa- 
chusetts l)ay in new England, Gentlemen, have given and 
granted, and by these Presents Gontirm unto my negro maid 
Servant named Gate her freedom from me and my heirs and 
assigns forever, the above said Gate's freedom is to commence 
or begin on Tuesday the seventh day of April A. I). 1772, and 
at the end of the thirtieth year of her age and for the true per- 
formance of what is above written, I, the Said Phineas Taylor 
have hereunto Set to my hand and seal this sixth day of Api'il 
A. D. 1772, and in the Twelfth year of his majestie's Reign 
George the thiid King cV G. Signed Sealed and Delivered in 
Presents of us 

Silas Taylor 

Ephraim Taylor Phineas Taylor." 

Abigail lirown 
Some one has said, ^' Notliing seemed to pros[)er on that 
farm until the maid servant was liberated," yet they were 
always good to Gate. At the time of the advent of the little 
stranger babe, there was an infant girl of the family of about 
the same age, called Doll}^, and these two were daily play- 
mates. The little table at ^\'hich they ate their supper is also 
in possession of Mrs. Willis. 

Prince Chester and Gate (Taylor) Ghester, were the parents 
of seven children, Ruth, Eunice, Lucy, ]Mary, Prince James, 
Paul and Silas, all of whom lived and died in Boxborough. 
Mr. Taylor gave Gate, for her wedding portion, the farm where 
the Talbot family foi-merly resided in the soutli-western part of 

Toicer Hazzard. 107 

the town, and Prince James C'hester, her son, formerly lived 
on land in the same section no\y owned by Mr. Peter 
W^hitcomb, — from which he removed to the place now owned 
by Mrs. Willis. C'ate (Taylor) Chester, having retnrned to 
her early home to nurse Mr. Ta3'lor in an attack of spotted 
fever of which he died, contracted the disease and died also, 
leaving her twin babes, Panl and Silas, but a few months old. 
Prince James Chester (1781-1808) married JNIrs. Irene Coole}-, 
( 178o-18Gl) of Pepperell, and the}' were the parents of nine 
children, of whom only three are now living, ]\Iary Ann, born 
May 17, 1815. James Sydney, born July 30, 1820, and Irene, 
l)orn June 11, 1822. Mary Ann, — Mrs. Willis, before 
mentioned, — owns the small farm where her father formerlj' 
resided, but is at present settled in Groton. Her adopted 
daughter. Miss Annie Willis, graduated from Lawrence 
Academy, two or three years ago, and was recently married. 
James Sydney Chester married Rachel Payne, and settled near 
his father's home. Mrs. Chester lias l)een dead a number of 
years. They have eight cliildren living, of whom one son, 
Newell, is married and living on the AVillis place. They have 
two daughters. Irene Cliester married Alvin Parker, and 
resides on a portion of the ancient Phinehas Wetherbee home- 
stead. Prince James Chester was a respected citizen, both he 
and his wife having been members of the Congregational 
church in Boxborough. Mrs. Willis, and also Mi-s. Parker 
have the well-earned reputation of Ijeing very skilful nurses, 
and are women of decided Christian character. 


Tower Hazzard, now of Harvard, Mass., is the son of Tower 
and Lucy (Whitney) Hazzard, formerlj^ of Boxborough, and a 
great-grand-son of Cate (Taylor) Chester, the maid-servant of 
Phinehas Taylor, wlio resided on the Burroughs place more 
than a century ago. Tower Hazzard, Sr., lived in the south 
[)art of the town in a dwelling whicli wa^ subsequently burned. 
Here three children were l)()rn to them : Lucy Elizabeth, who 
married Henry G. Lewis ; Tower, Jr., born Aug. 6, 1820, who 

108 Boxliorongli : a New F/miJand Town and its Peo})le. 

married Catlierine Freeman of (nirdner, Mass. ; and Martha 
Ann, who married Barzillai Williams. 

Tower, and Catherine (Freeman) Hazzard, are settled in 
Harvard. They have three children, Warren T., Roswell B. 
and Martha Ann. Warren T. married Lucy Galbreth, of 
Georgia, and they with their two daughters, Cora and Stella, 
are living in Barr City, Colorado. Roswell B. married Julia 
Scott, of Worcester. They have one son. Martha Ann 
married Allen H. Hazzard, of Woodstock, Vt., and they have 
four children living, Lucy W., James T., Alva E., and 
Charles S. 

Tower Hazzard, Sr., was a Methodist in religious belief, 
and was highly esteemed as a Christian man by his brethren in 
the church. He was very fond of children, and the aged ones 
among us — the children of his day, — hold liim in loving 
remembrance even now, and often recall his kindly words and 

His mother, Lucy Cliester, (1T74-I84i*) was a woman of 
more than ordinary phj'sical strength and endurance. 






John Cobleigh came from Scotland at an early period, and 
purchased land here about 1707. He was the ancestor of a 
large family, whose descendants are still with us in the persons 
of Ruel T., Daniel \\\, and Kpliiaini li. Cobleigh, sons of 
Daniel, born Aug. 10, 1801, and Hannah (Whiteomb) Cob- 
leigh, born July 18, 1804, and Ephraim, son of John and 
Caroline (Hay ward) Cobleigh. The grand-parents of these 
were John and Racliael Cobleigh. From the first one of the 
family who came from Scotland down to Epliraim Cobleigh, 
one son has always borne the name of John. Tlie little trunk 
covered with hair and studded with brass nails, in which the 
first John Cobleigh kept his money, and his sword belonging 
to the uniform which he wore on state occasions, are in posses- 
sion of a cousin of Ephraim B. Cobleigh, Avho received them 
from his mother at her death three years ago. They had been 
handed down from one generation to another until she obtained 
possession of them. Daniel Cobleigh married Ann Perkins of 
Biddeford, Me., for his second wife. The later years of her life 
were spent in the family of Mr. Ruel T. Cobleigh, where she 
died May 6, 1891, aged 80 years, 2 months. Daniel Cobleigh 
died Aug. 14, 1857. Hannah (Whiteomb) Cobleigli died 
July 25, 1849. They are buried in the cemetery on the hill. 

The old Cobleigh homestead formerly stood opposite Mr. 
Wright's present residence. 

110 Bo.rhorough : a Neio England Town and its People. 

Ruel T. Cobleigli married Elizabeth H. Perkins of Bidde- 
ford, Me., Feb. 28, 1856. They had three chiklren, Frank, 
who died yoling ; John R., who married Sarah Withington, of 
Princeton, May 9, 1887, and lives on the home-place, — their 
only child, Olive May, died May 28, 1890, aged 1 year, 10 
months, 23 days, — and Mida E., who married Willard Bnrns, 
in 1884, and resides in Fitchbnrg. They have two cliildren 
living, Frances May, and Lizzie Mabel. 

Kuel T. Cobleigli has been active in town affairs, having 
been selectman, assessor, constable and collector, auditor, high- 
way surveyor, etc., for a number of years. 

Daniel W. Cobleigli married Caroline Smith of Charlestown 
for his first wife, and they had two daughters, Hannah Maria, 
and Carrie Etta. Hannah Maria Cobleigh married Mr. Chas. 
H. Veasie and settled in Boxborough. Tliey have four sons, 
Alfred A., Henry B., Charles Elmar, and Ira. Carrie Etta 
Cobleigh is teaching in Harvard. She is a fine musician. 
Daniel W. Coljleigh married ]\Irs. Antoinette Barnard, 
daughter of Mr. A^arnum Taylor, for his second wife. 

jNIr. Cobleigh has held the position of town treasurer for 
the [)ast twenty-eight years, was town clerk for six years, 
selectman for seven years continuously — eleven 3'ears in all — 
and has been elected to various other town offices. 


Ephraim Lrown Col)leigh, who>e parentage has been 
already given, was born in the old Cobleigli homestead, June 1, 
1833. His mother died when he was only sixteen, and left an 
orphan thus early in life, bereft of tlie mother's influence and 
the home care, — to use his own expression in speaking of this 
period of his life, " One who loses a mothei' loses eveiy- 
tliing," — rFeb. 15, '51, he went out from beneath the old ances- 
tral roof-tree to make a way for himself. With some of his 
young companions, he first went to Bolton, ]\Iass., where he 
sought and obtained employment in a shoe-shop. Here he 
remained several months, but the following July, without 
returning to take leave of the home friends, he directed his 


Ephraim B. Cohleigh. Ill 

steps to C'harlston, S. C, where lie immediately engaged him- 
self at his trade. After a stay of a few months, the roving- 
disposition returned in full force, and In; set out once more on 
a tour westward through the Southern states. Passing through 
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, up the Cumberland to Nashville, 
Tennessee ; from Tennessee down the iNIississippi to New 
Orleans, he improved his time in studying Southern life as it 
was presented to him in its various forms in those days of 
slavery before the war. Leaving New Orleans, he sailed uj) 
the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to ('incinnati, Ohio, and 
thence across the river to Covington, Kentucky. Here, his 
funds exhausted, and without friends, he enlisted for live 
years in the regular army, Co. !>. 2d Regiment artillery, doing 
cavalry duty. The Navajo war in New Mexico being in prog- 
ress at that time, the coni[)any was ordered to Fort Defiance. 
In this forced march of Sept. '')2, from Fort I^eavenworth, 
Kansas, to Fort Defiance, New Mexico, a' distance of 1300 
miles, through a countr}^ at that time wild and desolate in the 
extreme, the 3'oung volunteer began to experience for the first 
time the [)rivations incident to the life of a soldier. The raw 
recruits, unused to such hardship, dropped off continually 
along the route until over one hundred were left in their lonely 
graves upon the jdains. Sometimes, for three days at a time, 
the soldiers went without ^\■ater, until the parched tongues, 
black and swollen, attested their sufferings. In this 
Avilderness Avhere no white man had ever reared his dwelling, 
surrounded by the Navajo Indians, — a tiibc on a parallel with 
the Apaches for cunning and treachery, — Mr. Cobleigh, as a 
soldier, remained for five years, never off duty, but doing duty 
every day, though often lame and foot-sore ; this life being 
varied by occasional expeditions with sconting parties under 
the guidance of Mexican Jack and Kit Carson. Mr. Cobleigh 
gives us the following incident taken from his experience at 
that time : — 

'^ Many an old soldier of the Regular Army out in that 
Indian country in my time, endured harships and encountered 
danger e(pial to any of the teiTible sufferings of the Civil War, 

112 Boxhorowjh : a New JEm/land Town and its People. 

only of another sort. ( )ne adventure of my own has left an 
impress on my memory that time has not effaced. I take from 
my diary, — ke])t tlu-ongh those years, and still preserved, — 
the following facts : Sept. lo, 1854, a detachment of twenty- 
five soldiers was made up to go out in search of grazing 
grounds. My duties as sergeant-major were rather monotonous 
just then, so I volunteered to go with this detachment. The 
Navajos about us at that time were supposed to be '' friendlies." 
After a day's marcli, we camped for the night. Next morning, 
three of us, Myers, Ryan, and myself rode about a mile away 
from camp to the southward, and came suddenly upon a small 
band of Indians. They made every motion of friendliness, and 
when we told them Ave were in search of grazing grounds, they 
said, 'Good water, good grazing a little way round the 
mountain and we show you the way.' We started, the Indians 
first taking the lead, l)ut a few fell behind l)efore we entered 
the narrow dehle, a trail worn in the rocks, with a steep ledge 
on one side, and a preci})ice on the other. I began to have 
fears, but it was impossible to turn about and retreat, so we 
were forced to go on, and I tried to hide my suspicions of 
danger. We soon came abruptly into a beautiful valley. These 
fertile basins are a wonderful natural feature to be found here 
and there anioug the most rocky parts of New Mexico and 
Arizona. The valleys are hemmed in by great sandstone walls, 
and this particular vallc}^ of which I speak, seemingly had no 
other outlet than tlie one by Avhich we entered. Here were 
camped hundreds of ludians, women and children. I said to 
the boys, '' We' re in for it." We were invited to dismount, 
our horses were turned loose, and our ritles taken from us. I 
felt that my time had come as I saw them drive stakes into the 
ground, and prepare to give us a scorching. Comrade Ryan, 
having red hair, — the Indians have a supreme affection for red 
heads, and covet such scalps above all others, — claimed their 
first attention, and although the savages bound us all to stakes 
with strips of cedar bark, they proceeded to bestow their 
closest attention upon poor Ryan who howled at tliem all sorts 
of Irish lingo, as the savage horde danced and yelled around 

Ephraim B. CohJeinh. 118 

him. It would have looked funny on the stage of a theatre, 
but on the stage of life it was horrible. Finding that atten- 
tion was drawn from me, I wriggled my hands from the cedar 
strips that bound them, unfastened my limbs, and seized my 
horse which strayed near me, frightened at the tumult. With 
a bound I was on his back, naked as I was, and speeding out 
of the valley away over the narrow defile b}' which we had 
entered. My horse was accustomed to mountainous travel, but 
any false step on his part would have sent us rolling down, 
down, seemingl}^ to the bowels of tlie earth. I reached my 
comrades unpui-sued, but we were too small a band to go to the 
rescue of Kyan and Myei-s, and we never saw them again. My 
escape seems fabulous, and as I wrote it in my diary after we 
returned to Fort Defiance, I said to myself, "Perhaps I shall 
live to see old Boxborough again, for I certainly shall not allow 
myself to be entrapped by another lot of ' friendlies. ' " 

In 1855, a detachment of soldiers under Col. Pope, — who 
later had command of the Union army in the Rebellion, — was 
sent out to survey the Southern Pacific R. R., and his route at 
that time was nearly identical with the present trend of the road. 

At the end of five years, with a longing in his heart for a 
sight of home and friends in his native town, he obtained his 
discharge and returned to Boxborough, bringing with him as 
the only souvenir of his eventful life at tliat time, a wound 
obtained in honorable service. 

Mr. Cobleigh says: "On the way out to Fort Defiance, 
scarcely a human habitation was to be seen from Fort Leaven- 
worth to Santa Fe ; the Great West at that time was just being 
opened to civilization ; but on my return five years later, the 
country was full of emigrant trains and squatters, and dwell- 
ings were being erected all along the route." 

Mr. Cobleigh had long been thought dead by his people, 
and no one recognized in the stalwart young man of twenty- 
two, the raAv long-legged youth of sixteen, Avho went away six 
years before. 

July 3, 1858, Mr. Cobleigh married Rosella Wetherbee, 
who died Jan. 8, 1864, aged 23 years, 6 months, 3 days. She 

114 Boxhoroujilt : a New England Town and its People. 

was a daughter of Capt. Andrew, and Mary (Sargent; 
Wetherbee. He married Salinda Holden of Shirley, for his 
second wife. He has no children. 

Ephraim B. Cobleigh has served as town-clerk twelve 3^ear;> 
continuously, fifteen years as selectman, and has filled various 
positions of trust and responsibility. He has been connected 
with town business for twenty-nine years. 


John and Caroline (Hay ward) Cobleigh had two sons, 
Ephraim and Howard. Ephraim married Harriet Whitney, 
and they have eight children ; Charles, Fred, Nelson, Melvin, 
Ora, Hattie, Alfred, and Herbert. 

John Howard Cobleigh, l)orn in Boxborough in 1826, 
married Lucy Ann Johnson, and resides in Fitchburg. They 
have two daughters. Mr. Cobleigh is a jobber, and probably 
the oldest in the business in Fitchburg. He went to that city 
in 1859, and having purchased a half interest in the hrm of 
Brown and Houghton who were engaged in quite a prosperous 
jobbing business at that time, he remained in partnership for 
three years and then })urchased tlu; entire interest. He has con- 
tinued in tl^e business ever since with the exception of a period 
of two years when he Avas prevented by illness. Before going to 
Fitchburg, he had charge of a milk car from West Acton to 
Boston for nine years. He was some years ago connected with 
the fire department in Fitchlnirg, and at one time was first 
assistant engineer and fireman of the hand tire-engine " Con- 
queror." This conueotioii w.u severed about the year 1873. 
Mr. Cobleigh is one of Fitchburg's well-known and honored 


Francis Conant, the eldest child of Benjamin and Sarah 
(Randall) Conant, was born in Stow, Mass., Nov. 14, 1814. 
He was of English ancestry, being a descendant of Roger 
Conant who led the pioneer colony that settled Salem in 1628. 

He spent his early years on his father's farm in Stow, and 
in the district school, which afforded meagre advantages for 

^ir-t7-?v^l ~^(^r^^^^/^y^ 

Francis Conant. 115 

education. After becoming of age, he attended a private 
school in Berlin, Mass., for a short time. In 1841 he married 
Sophia, daughter of John Goldsmith of Littleton, and having 
built a cottage in Acton, in the vicinity of his early home, he 
engaged in farming, the business in which he had been reared. 
Here five children were born to them, Albert F., Charles H., 
Nelson B., Julia S. and John G. In the winter of 1848 when 
only thirty-four years of age, a terrible accident occurred, 
which, with unskilful surgical treatment, left him with a lame- 
ness from which he suffered until the close of his life. In 1850 
he removed with his family to Boxborough and settled upon 
the Wood farm which bac.une his home for a quarter of a 
century. Here the five younger children, Edwin H., George 
F., Waldo E., Adelia M., and Lizzie S. were born. 

As a citizen of Boxborough, he was active and interested in 
everything that pertained to the religious, educational, and 
business welfare of the town. He was elected to many town 
olfices, having served as auditor, on the l)oard of overseers, 
assessors, and selectmen — at one time as chairman — for a 
number of years. For several reasons he ju'cferred to attend 
church in Littleton, and he was a consistent member of the 
Orthodox Congregational church in that town. By his thrift 
and enterprise he was able to give each of his ten children, 
more than a common school education. One son, Charles H., 
completed a college course, graduating at Dartmouth in 1871. 

In 1874, feeling somewhat the infirmities of age, he 
disposed of his farm and removed to Littleton, and there, four 
years later, he died at the age of G3 years. His life was one 
oi hardsliip and suffering, but the character and prosperity of 
his children were a constant scource of satisfaction to him in 
his declining years. Merchants sought his sons for desks, from 
which positions they naturally joassed to be themselves 
proprietors. Four sons are merchants, Albert F. and Nelson B. 
in Littleton, and John G. and Edwin H. in Shirley. Charles 
H. has been a lawyer in Lowell for many years. George F. is 
a civil engineer in Columbia, Tenn., in the employ of the 
U. S. government, and Waldo E., of the firm of Conant, 

116 BoxhorongJi : a New England Town and its People. 

Houghton and Co., Littleton, is a suspender manufacturer. 
Of his three daughters, the eldest, Julia S., is unmarried and 
resides in Bridgeport, Conn. ; the second, Adelia M., a teaclier 
since the death of her husband, George A. Parker, is at the 
present time located also in Bridgeport, Conn., where she is 
engaged in the Training School for teachers. The youngest 
daughter, Lizzie S., married Mr. E. B. Parker, of Littleton, and 
resides in that town. 

Sophia G. Conant, the wife and mother, died Mar. 18, 
1878, and both parents are laid in the new cemetery at 


Stuai't Park Dodge is the son of Silas Parker and Catherine 
Park (Kendall) Dodge, of Waltham, Mass. Silas Parker is 
the son of Samuel, born in Ipswich, Mass., Mar. 26, 1766, and 
Mary (Farnsworth) Dodge, born in Groton, Mass., May 9, 1768. 
Silas P. was also born in Groton, his mother's native town, 
Apr. 2, 1812, and resided in that place fifty-eight years, until 
1870, when he removed to Waltham. His sight has been fail- 
ing him for some years, and he is now totally blind. Catherine 
Kendall, born in Harvard, Nov. 12, 1821, is the daughter of 
Enoch, born in Shirley, Aug. 7, 1795, and F^-jmy (Shurtleff) 
Kendall, born in Montpelier, Vt., Oct. 1800. Silas P. Dodge 
and Catherine P. Kendall were united in marriage, May 12, 
1842. They were the parents of four children, Edwin Parker, 
who died in 1871, in Denver, Col., where he had gone to 
regain his health, Stuart P., George F., and Frances A. 
George F. was formerly a resident of this town, having lived 
upon the farm now occupied by his brother. Stuart P. was 
born in Gioton, — as were all the other children, on the farm 
where his father was born, and where he lived for more than 
half a centur3%- — and spent his early years in tliat town. He 
married Miss Saiah J. Farmer, of Harvard, Mass. Aug. 11, 

Mrs. Dodge is the daughter of Deacon Emroy and Sophia 
(Raymond) Farmer, of Harvard. Mr. Farmer was the son of 

Stuart Park Dodge. 117 

Thomas and Hannah Farmer, of Littleton Mass., and was born 
in that town, Jan. 10, 1816. Jan. 10, 1839, he married Sophia 
Raymond, daughter of Joseph and Rhoda Raymond, also of 
Littleton, where she Avas born, May 13, 1817. They made 
their home at first in Sterling, Mass., where Sarah J. was born, 
Nov. 17, 1850, but removed to Harvard a year later, and there 
Deacon Farmer died, Aug. 12, 1877. He had been a deacon 
of the Baptist church at Still River for several years. Mr. and 
Mrs. Farmer were the parents of seven children, Elizabeth B., 
Warren A., who died in infancy, Nahum IL, Luke W., Sarah 
J. and Almeda P. Elizabeth Bowers, married James Forrest 
Dadmun, of Harvard, Apr, 28, 1861, and they buried their only 
child in infancy. Mrs. Dadmun died May 20, 1866. Mrs. 
Dodge and two sons are the only surviving children. Nahum 
Harwood, married Miss Ella M. Whittemore, of Worcester, and 
they, witli their two children, Grace Sophia and Walter Emroy, 
reside in that city, where he is engaged in the shoe business. 
He served his country three years in the Federal army, enlist- 
ing Aug. 14, 1862, in Co. (I. 36 Reg't, Mass. Vols., and 
receiving his discharge June 8, 1865. He took part in twenty- 
two battles and skirmislies, among them those of Cold Harbor, 
Spottsylvania, Fredericksburg, Antietam, IkiU Run and Vicks- 
buig. Luke W. Farmer married Miss Ella C. Wliitney, of 
Harvard, and removed to Somerville. He was in the employ 
of Messrs. Adams, Chapman and Co., of Boston, from 1869 to 
1883, when he became a member of the firm. 

Mrs. Sophia Farmer, who is now seventj^-four years of age, 
makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Dodge. She is a 
sister of Mrs. Eliza Davis, of Acton Centre, who has entered 
upon her eighty-fifth year in quite good health for one so 
advanced in years. Tliese two and a brother, Benjamin Ray- 
mond, of CharlestoAvn, are the only representatives of their 
family now living. 

For a time after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Dodge lived 
in Groton, and here they buried their oldest child, while still 
an infant. Florence C, the oldest daughter, was also born in 
Groton. Afterwards they removed to Harvard, and during 

118 Borhorovgh : a New England Town and its Peoj^le. 

their residence in that town, a son was born to them, Emroy P., 
who died Feb. 19, 1885, aged 9 years and 8 months. Mabel 
L. and Frank W., tlie remaining chikben, were born in 
Boxborough, to which phice the family came to reside in Nov. 
1876. Their dwelling was erected by Mr. A. W. Wetherbee 
and his father, Mr. John Wetlierl)ee, in 186(5, on a portion of 
the old Phineas Wetherbee farm, and only a few rods from the 
ancestral homestead. 

Mrs. Dodge is a kind and sympathetic neighbor, and an 
earnest worker in the cliurch. Mr. Dodge has held the 
position of auditor, also of moderator at town meetings, and 
was elected chairman of the School Board of Boxborough in 
1887, to which position he has been re-elected for four consecu- 
tive years. 


The Draper family dates back more tlian a hundred years. 
Their ancestor, I)Oston Draper, helped to })ay for the "old 
Harvard meeting-house " in 1775, and from time to time the 
Draper name ap])ears on record in various responsible positions. 
Reuben Draper built the house where B. S. Mead now lives. 
He was a very ingenious man. Simon Whitney Draper built 
the house which J. F. Hayward now occupies. 

Mr. David Veasie, of Boxborough, married Mrs. Tryphena 
Draper, who is connected with this family. Mr. Veasie was a 
native of N. H., but came from Boston to this town when a 
young man, to search for employment. He worked at farming 
several years, and then married Mrs. Draper, who was a 
Worster, and a cousin of her first husband. Mr. and Mrs. 
Veasie were the parents of four children : D. Boutwell, Gran- 
ville, Sarali J. and Charles H. Boutwell Veasie married 
Nellie Berry, and is a resident of Port Towusend, Washington. 
He graduated at a college in Ohio ; afterward studied law, and 
was admitted to the bar, but never practised the profession. 
He is engaged at the present time in the store of the Nolton 
and Adams Hardware Co., Port Townsend, Washington. 
Granville married Miss Cornelia A. Hayward, of Boxborougli, 


/^. ./y/^^c-/^ 

John Fletcher. 119 

and they are settled in Elgin, Illinois. Sai'ali J. married 
Eugene Berry, and resides in Peabody, Mass. They have no 
children of their own, but have an adopted son and daughter, 
Thomas and Belle. Charles H. married Hannah Maria Cob- 
leigh, and settled in town. (See Cobleigh Family.) He lias 
filled the positions of school committee, selectman, assessor, and 
overseer of the poor, for several years 

Mr. David Veasie owned a small farm, but followed the 
occupation of a carpenter. He died Jan. 2, ISSt], aged 72 
years, 10 months, and is buried in the lower cemetery. 

His widow resides upon the Cephas Hartwell i)lace, which 
was their home for many years. 


I am inde1)ted to one of the Fletcher family for the follow- 
ing sketcli. 

John Fletcher, son of Peter Fletcher and Lucy Wood, of 
Littleton, who settled in Philli[)ston, Mass., was born July 11, 
1800. He married Feb. 28, 1831, Hulda T. Fletcher, daughter 
of Eleazer Fletcher, a resident of Boxl)orough, and a soldier of 
the Revolution. Her sister, Khoda F., married Stedman 
Hartwell, of Natick, brother of Squire Cephas Hartwell, who 
was a respected citizen of Boxborough, and held office in that 
town as superintending school committee, selectman, assessoi-, 
treasurer, and town clerk, for seventeen years. Stedman Hart- 
well had two daughters, Almeda and Martha, and two sons who 
became geneials in the War of the Rebellion, Alfred and 
Charles. After the close of the war, Alfred became Assistant 
Consul at Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, and also practised law 
therefor a time. Charles entered the regular U. S. army and 
died in the service, fiom disease contracted therein. Almeda 
became the wife of E. Dix Fletcher, of Lowell, Mass. She 
was a fine teacher, having taught in Woburn for many years. 
She had chaige at one time of No. 4. school in Boxborough. 
Martha, who has been as a motlier to her sister and brothers, 
resides on the home place in Natick. 

120 BoxhorougJi : a Neiv Engl and Toirn and its People. 

Edmund Fletcher, brother of Hulda T., married Lucy, 
sister of John Fletcher, who resided for several years in Box- 
borough. Their sons now live in Lowell. E. Dix has been a 
prominent merchant in that city for over forty years, and has 
l)een a member of the City Council. Isaac A., born in r>ox- 
borough, was City Assessor for some years. He is in the 
mercantile business. Maria Fletcher, sister of Hulda, married 
Samuel Wetherbee, a resident of Boxl)orough. 

E. Dix Fletcher married Mary A. Lovejoy, of N. H., for his 
first wife, and they have one daughter, Mary E. Isaac A., 
married Mary E. Hand, of Barnstead, N. H., and they have one 
daughter, Anna Dix. 

Eleazer Fletcher, brother of Hulda, married Rebecca Kim- 
ball of Littleton, who is now living, in her ninety- first 
year, with her daughter, Mrs. Peter Whitcomb, of Littleton. 

John Fletcher's wife, Hulda, died June 8, 1838, leaving 
one daughter, Hulda A., who died in 1844. July. 4, 1839, he 
married Matilda Bowker, of Sudbury, whose ancestors came of 
a patriotic race, having taken part in the war of the Revolution, 
and that of 1812. The names of their children are as follows: 
Josephine M., John H., Augustine A., Edwin Dix, who died 
when three years of age, and Ehvin B. Josephine M. was a 
teacher in the public schools in Boxborough, and adjoining 
towns, for a dozen years, six years in her home district. Since 
the death of her parents, she resides in West Acton, Avhere she 
is active in church work, and social and literary pursuits. 
John H., who was in the War of the Rebellion, enlisting, Oct. 
1861, re-enlisting in 1864, was Corporal in Co. E., 26th Reg't. 
Mass. Vols. He was killed in battle at Winchester, Va., Sept. 
19, 1864. His comrades all speak of him tenderly, as one who 
was always ready to do his duty as a soldier, and was loved by 
them for his manly virtues. Augustine A. was also a volun- 
teer in the War of the Rebellion, having been a lieutenant in the 
97th Li. S. C. Inft. This regiment was stationed in the Gulf 
Department He was in several severe skirmishes, where men 
by his side were shot down, but he escaped uninjured. This 
I'egiment did guard duty at the forts, for several months after 

John Fletcher. 121 

the Rebellion was crushed. Since the war he has resided in 
(leorgia, where his father's brother, Dix Fletcher, also lived long 
before the w\ar. Mr. Dix Fletcher and his son-in-law, Hon. Henry 
Cole, had property destroyed by the rebels, because of their 
union sentiments, just before Sherman came over Kennesaw, to 
Marietta, Ga., on his way to the sea. ]Mr. Cole was also taken 
as a prisoner to Charleston, S. C, and was not released for more 
than six months. During this time his health became 
impaired, and he lived only a few years. Jan. 10, 1870, 
Augustine married INIargaret S. Boyd, only daughter of 
Colonel William and Tenie Boyd, of Xashville, Tenn. Their 
residence is now at Atlanta, Ga. He is actively engaged in the 
Georgia pine lumber business. They have two daughtere, ^lary 
Louisa and Maggie B. Elwyn B. resides at Fort Scott, Kansas, 
where he is a prominent druggist. Jan. 10, 1877, he 
married Sarah H. Redding, of Plain View, Minn. At this 
time he was in his cousin's, Mr. Woodward's, drug store, at 
Lawrence, Kansas. Miss Redding was an accomplished teacher 
and elocutionist in one of the Lawrence schools. They have 
two sons living, John Herbert and Freddie Dix. 

Mr. John Fletcher's occupation was farming. His theory 
was to have a fine dairy and fruit farm, and as he had an 
energetic, thrifty helpmeet, their dairy products commanded the 
highest price in the market. He raised calves, colts, and tine 
porkers, and having rich hill pasturing, it was profitable also 
to fat oxen ; so by wise planning and careful industry, farm- 
ing was made to pay. His townsmen seemed to appreciate 
his good judgment and careful forethought, by putting him in 
town office twelve years as selectman, assessor, and overseer of 
the poor, and, in 1851, paid him a high compliment by sending 
him as Representative to the General Court. In 1870, his 
sons being in other business, and John, the one who intended 
to take the farm, having been killed in the army, Mr. Fletcher, 
who was now seventy years old, felt that the care was too 
much for him, and sold his farm, (where J. W. Hayward now 
resides), though loth to leave the home where he had lived 
forty years, and moved to Stow, to be near his brother, 

122 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its Peo])le. 

Mr. Peter Fletcher, whose companionship was very pleasant to 
him in his declining years. His wife died in 1871, and his 
daughter resided with and cared for him until his death in 
1881, when she made it her home in West Acton. 




In a volume entitled " Genealogies of the Families and De- 
scendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Mass., including 
Waltham and Weston," is found the following : " Hagar : In the 
church records Rev. Mr. Angier wrote the name Agar. Perhaps 
it will be ascertained that William Hagar, of Watertown, was 
a son of that William Hagar that was admitted freeman, May 
18, 1631. Both names are found in England, and their arms 
may indicate some early affinity, a lion being their chief charac- 
teristic." Mr. Daniel B. Hagar, of the Salem Normal School, 
who is a great-grandson of Isaac Hagar, of Weston, says : 
" The two names are probably the same, as they are in the 
Bible. As the family was among the very earliest settlers of 
Watertown, it is undoubtedly of English origin. I noticed in 
London a street named 'Agar.' I do not understand why the 
different branches of the family should spell the name differ- 
ently. As a scripture name it is always spelled in one way, so 
far as the last syllable is concerned." The genealogy in the 
volume referred to runs thus : William Hagar (Hager), 
married. Mar. 20, 1644-45, died, Jan. 10, 1683-84. He had 
ten children. The third one, Samuel, was born Nov. 20, 
1647, died, Feb. 13, 1703-1704. His fourth and last child 
was Isaac, of Weston, who was born April 24, 1701. He married 
Prudence Allen, July 16, 1724. He had twelve children, 
the first of whom was Isaac, who was born May 5, 1725. This 
Isaac had four children, — Phinehas, Elizabeth, Abigail and 
Zilpah. Phinehas — the ancestor of the Hagers of Boxborough 
— married Susanna Leadbetter. He died in Weston, August, 

124 Boxhorough : a Neiv England Town and its People. 

1817. He liad nine children, — Daniel, Nabby, Phinehas, 
born July 21, 1788, Charles, Helena, Darins, Maria, George, 
who died in infancy, and George Otis. Daniel died when about 
seventeen years of age. Charles lived to manhood, and died at 
the West, Helena married Mr. Hersey, and Darius married 
Lucy Wright, and had eight children, of whom four died young, 
and the youngest daughter, Esther, married a Burnham, and 
died several years ago. Of three who are living, George is 
married and resides in California, and Augustus P. and Baron 
Stowe are both married and settled in Littleton, Mass. 

Maria Hager married William Nottage, of Boston. George 
Otis married Sarah Day, of the same city, and they had five 
children, of whom only one lived to mature years. He, — 
George Otis, — was killed in one of the last battles of the War 
of the Rebellion. 

Phinehas Hager and Ruth Stowe, daughter of Manasseh 
and Mary (Whitcomb) Stowe, of Hillsborough, N. H., were 
married Nov. 1811, in Harvard, by Rev. Isaac Bonney, 
Methodist minister. Ruth Stowe was born in Hillsborough, 
Dec. 8, 1788, and died at West Acton, May 9, 1880, aged 
ninety-one years and five months. Zions Herald, date Nov. 
4, 1880, gives the following : — 

"■ Sister Hagar, when 16 years of age, upon the death of her 
parents, came to Harvard, Mass., to reside with relatives. 
Here she became acquainted with the Methodists, and united 
with the church, to whose doctrines and usages she became 
strongly attached. At the age of 23 she married Phinehas 
Hagar, of Weston, a man of deep and ardent piety. Her 
husband died when she was but 41, leaving her with seven 
children, the oldest being but 16 years old. She was a woman 
of strong character, never yielding a point where she considered 
herself morally right. Her cheerfulness throughout her entire 
life was very marked. About five years previous to her death, 
she resided with a son at West Acton ; here she was near the 
church and was a constant attendant, being present morning 
and afternoon in all weathers. The last five months of her life 
she was partially paralyzed, but so kindly cared for by her 


George Hager. 125 

daughter and son, that she was never known to make a 
complaint ; all her wants Avere anticipated, and she had only to 
answer with a .smile. Thus ended the long life of this 
Christian woman, and affectionate mother." 

Phinehas Hager died Jan. 11, 1830, at the early age of 
forty-one. He was a member of the Methodist chureli referred 
to in the history of the town, and was a class-leader many 
years. He owned a small farm in the southwest part of liox- 
borough, but worked at the business of a shoemaker, having 
learned that trade of Nathan Hagar, of Lincoln. The home- 
stead was burned some years ago, but the estate is still in the 
hands of George Hager, of West Acton, one of the sons. 
Phinehas Hager and his wife Ruth (Stowe) Hager, are buried 
in the cemetery on the hill. They were the parents of seven 
children, — Solomon, George, Sarah, Phinehas, Mary, Ben- 
jamin Stowe and Daniel. 

Solomon Hager, born Mar. 28, 1813, married Lucy Ann 
Fuller, of Vermont, Mar. 14, 1837, and they had three 
daughters, of whom one died young. Helen R. married George 
W. Kimljall and went to St. Louis, where he was connected 
with Simmons Hardware Com^jany. Mr. Kimball died very 
suddenly in 1889, while boarding in Swampscott, Mass. Lucy 
Ann married John H. White, of Chicago. Mr. Solomon 
Hager served as superintending school committee in 1839, and 
was chosen representative from Boxborough, in 1840, and 1841. 
He died July 3, 1875. 


George Hager, second son of Phinehas and Ruth, was born 
in Boxborough, Mar. 29, 1815, and resided on the home farm 
until his father's death in 1830. For four years afterwards he 
lived with Joel Whitcomb upon the Burroughs farm, and 
most of the time until his marriage worked in his native town, 
with the exception of two years, spent in Weston, Mass. 
Apr. 9, 1850, he married Sally Mead, of Boxboi-ough, and 
settled in West Acton, where he remained one year. Return- 
ing to Boxborough, he occupied the old homestead until about 

126 Boxhorougli : a New Enyland Town and its People. 

sixteen years ago, when he again removed to West Acton, 
and purchased the place where he now resides. He is still in 
possession of the home farm. Mr. Hager was selectman and 
assessor of Boxborough for a number of years, and performed 
the duties of his office with marked al)ility. Although without 
offspring of his own, he is very fond of little children, and 
always has a kind word for them. 

Sarah Hager, born Aug. 1(3, 1817, is uiimarried and lives 
in town. 

Phinehas Hager, born July 8, 1820, took the name of 
Phinehas A., and went to Oberlin, Ohio, to attend school. He, 
with a number of others, went out from ( )berlin to found 
Olivet College, Michigan. He married Polly J. Edsell, of 
Olivet, for his first wife, and the}^ had five children, all of 
whom died in childhood. His second wife was Mrs. Sabra 
White, of Otsego, Michigan. He enlisted from Otsego, and 
entered Company B, Nineteenth Regiment, Michigan Infantry, 
in August, 1862. He was first sergeant of his company, and 
acted as captain for quite a long time ; was in Libby Prison at 
one time, but was released on parole. He was killed Aug. 7, 
1864, during the siege of Atlanta. 

The first Phinehas Hagar served throughout the Revolu- 
tionary War. He, with others, came up from Weston, crossed 
tlie Concord river in a boat, and joined in the fight at Concord 
Bridge ; and he was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at 

Mary Hager, born Nov. 25, 1823, married Benjamin K, 
Barnard, Oct. 15, 1843, and settled in Harvard. They had 
five children, of whom three, John, Sarah and Mary, are now 
living. John married Nellie Green, and lives in Worcester; 
they have one daugliter, Esther; Sarah married William 
Puffer, buried her huslxmd, and resides at home ; Mary married 
W. J. D'Ewart, and also lives in Worcester. They have two 
children, llie oldest son, Charles, died when about a year old, 
and the youngest, Charles Wesley, a student at Lawrence 
Academy, (Iroton, died when a little more than seventeen. 


Benjamin Stotve Hager. 127 


Benjamin Stowe Hager was born in Boxborough, Feb. 28 1 
1826. When eight years of age, he went to Harvard for the 
summer and autumn, and attended school in that town. At 
twelve years of age he again went to Harvard, and remained 
there two years with Phinehas Wetherbee. Three years later, 
at the age of fifteen, he united Avith the Methodist church, to 
wliieh allusion has been made in the town history. When 
seventeen, he Avorked seven months for Luke Sawyer, of 
Harvard. In the fall of 1850, he attended school at Wilbra- 
hani, and tlie next year purchased the Epliraim Wliitcomb 
[)lace, Avhere he now resides. Sept. 28, 1852, he married 
Elizabeth Blanchard, daughter of Simon and ^Nlary (Keyes) 
Blanchard, of Boxborough. 

After the Methodist church was disorganized, Mr. Hager 
connected himself with the Congregationalists, and all his 
energies, down to the present time, have been directed toward 
the Avork of tliat church. He Avas chosen one of its committee 
even before he became a mem])er of it. He has used his talents 
as a teacher in the Sabbath school successfully, teaching tlie 
youth, the young men, and also adult classes. It Avas his custom, 
Avhile his children Avere about him in the home, to gather them 
around him Sal)bath mornings, and teach them the Sunday- 
school lesson ; and this duty, far from being a burden, Avas a 
pleasure to him. Four of his cliildren are mendjcrs, and his 
eldest son is a deacon, of the Congregational church. 

Mr. Hager Avas secretary of the old Lyceum at one time, 
was selectman in 1856, auditor in 1859, and town treasurer 
1860-63, a period of four years. 

Benjamin Stowe and Elizal:)eth (Blanchard) Hager Avere 
the parents of seven children : Phinehas, Avho died Avhen eight 
years of age; Mary E., who resides at home ; Simon B., George 
H., Benjamin O., John M., and Sarah C, Avho died when a year 
and a half old, Simon B. Hager married Lucie C. Gilson, of 
Littleton, and is settled on the Whitman Wetherbee place. 
They have one son, Milton Blanchard, born August 15, 1888. 

Poeim. 129 


Slowly toiled the young Italian, 

In his sunny, native land, 
Many years of patient striving 

Spent he, on that far-off strand. 

But, at last, to crown his efforts. 

Sweet-voiced bells before him rose : 
Proud and happy was the artist, — 

All forgotten were his woes. 

Near the lovely lake of Como 
Stood a convent, old and grey : 

From its tower high, his chime bells 
Pealed forth sweetly, day by day. 

O'er the waters of the Como, 

Morning, noon, or eventide, 
Wafted was th' angelic music 

Through the village far and wide. 

There th' Italian souglit to rest him 

In his quiet, happy home, 
List'ning ever to the chiming 

Which so dear to him had grown. 

But the scourge of war swept round iiini, 

And its desolating hand 
Left him fortuneless and friendless. 

Homeless — in his native land. 

'Mid the strife and wanton ruin. 
Low the convent walls were laid : 

And the bells to which he' d listened, 
Since they by his skill were made. 

By the victor's hand were carried 

To some foreign land away : 
Chime of bells no more at morning 

Heard he, or at close of day. 

Old, before his time, in sorrow 
Wandered he from place to place. 

But, while growing grey and feeble, 
Of his bells he found no trace. 

But the mem'ry of their mu.sic 

Left him never, night or day, 
Whether through the crowded city 

Or the forest lay his way ; 

180 Bo.rhoroiiijli : a New Un(/h(nd Toim and its People. 

All the day he heard their chiming, 
And when sleep had closed his eyes, 

Still the tuneful bells were pealing 
Forth their music to the skies. 

Whether on the ocean's billow, 

'Mid its mighty rush and roar. 
Or beside the quiet streamlet, 

Still that music evermore 

To the lonely-hearted wand'rer 
Whispered low of peace and rest, — 

Of the joys the past had brought him. 
When his loved ones round him prest. 

From beyond the sea, a sailor. 

All by chance, at last he meets. 
And of chiming bells so wondrous. 

He had heard within the streets 

Of far Limerick in Ireland, 
Was the sailor's changeless theme; 

Lighter-hearted grew the wand'rer, 
His bells must the sailor mean. 

Up the Shannon, sick and weary, 

At the closing of the day. 
Sailed the wand'rer, till the vessel 

Anchored near to Limerick lay. 

Shoreward, then, the boatmen rowed him 
'Bove the smoky, mist-robed town. 

He St. Mary's spire saw, rising 
Through the shadows settling down. 

Angel voices to him calling, 
Told him that his bells were there ; 

And he prayed, " O, let me hear them 
Chime forth on the evening air. 

' Ring, O bells ! once more a welcome. 
As I near yon wave-washed shore, 

Once more let me hear your chiming. 
And my pilgrimage is o'er." 

O'er the clear and quiet waters 

Shone the light from off the shore; 

Fanned his brow the gentle breezes, 
As o'er Como's wave once more 


Then the music of the chime bells, 
From St. Mary's turrets high, 

On the evening air came swelling 
Forth in sweetest melody. 

Once more was the old man happy, 
As he heard the well-known chime, 

Home and friends beside the Como 
Saw he, as in olden time. 

Resting on their oars, the boatmen 
Listened to the chiming sweet. 

Which to hear was to remember 
Till the heart should cease to beat. 

Then they sought to rouse the stranger 

But he lifted not his head; 
Calmly, sweetly, he was resting, 

For the wanderer was dead. 


Depths of the valley the clouds hover over, 
Drear is the path where I wander alone ; 

Sadly the north-wind is sighing and sobbing. 
Sweeps, through the tree-tops, its wearisome moan. 

But, over yonder, the far distant hill-tops. 
Bathed in the sunlight, are beckoning on ; 

' Haste thee, nor stay 'mid the shadows around thee. 
Rest from thy journey awaits thee anon." 

' Leave thou the valley ; afar o'er the hillside, 
Onward and upward, there lietli the way ; 

Shadows and clouds that awhile may enfold thee 
Soon shall be merged in a glorious day." 

Fixed are my eyes on the heights, over yonder, 
Where nevermore deepening shadows shall lower ; 

Cheered by the view of that fair Land of Beulah 
Brighter my pathway grows hour after hour. 


From the gloomy, frozen winter. 

With its fields all robed in white ; 
From the storm-cloud, dark and lowering, 

And the tempest's wrathful might ; 

182 BoThoroii(/h : a JVew England Toivn and iU People. 

From a land of ice-locked brooklets, 

Silent groves and leafless trees, 
To the merry, joyous springtime, 

And its warm, life-giving breeze ; 
To a land of murmuring streamlets, 

Warbling birds and budding flowers, 
Soft green paths through blooming meadows, 

And the leafy, woodland bowers. 

From the weary toil and striving 

Of the ever changeful years, 
From the waiting and the longing, 

From the heart-aches and the tears ; 
From the loving and the parting, 

From the loneliness and woe. 
From the mounds upon the hillside, 

Graves of those we cherished so; 
To a land all lands excelling, 

Rest and home — no cold to blight. 
Meeting ne'er to know of parting, 

And eternal life and light. 


Across my path, one sunny day, 

A heavy shadow came ; 
On all before so dark it lay 

I sought the path in vain ; 
Awhile 1 thought to turn me back. 
And seek some broader, beaten track. 

But past that gloomy shade I knew 

There lay a city fair. 
Whose streets were gold, and pure and true 

The beings dwelling there. 
He who that city would not lose. 
The shadowed way must surely choose. 

Again 1 sought for it with care. 
While from my heart I cried, 
'• O, lead me to that city fair 

Upon the other side." 
Then came there One, who said to me, 
■ I '11 be thy guide, I '11 go with thee. 

Poems. 133 

■ So bright and sunny was thy way, 

Thou wast forgetting Me. 
Until I sent the shadow gray 

To hide the path from thee ; 
I made it o'er thy way to fall 
To teach thee still on Me to call." 

O, fellow trav'ler ! look above 
Whene'er thy path grows dim ; 

Remember that thy Guide in love 
Would draw thee nearer Him; 

And surely, if thou' It ask His aid, 

He'll lead thee safely through the shade. 


One golden autumn day we gathered leaves, 

My little friend and I, from forest trees; 

So fleet was he, that with my sober pace, 

I could of my young friend scarce keep a trace ; 

A yellow leaflet here,— a red one there. 

He spied, and off he bounded light as air ; 

O'er rock and hillock, or perchance a wall, 

He clambered for the fairest of them all ; 

In forest deep he saw a shrub at last. 

And quickly forward to the .spot he passed ; 

I hastened on, till from a gentle rise, 

I saw him, hands outstretched to seize the prize. 

Above his head, in colors dazzling bright, 
The poison sumach met my startled sight. 
'T is poison, child," I cried, " a moment wait," 

But ere I reached the place it was too late ; 

For, lest to pick them I would not allow. 

He quickly gathered them, bough after bough. 

So 't is, I thought, with children older grown. 

They cannot let forbidden fruit alone ; 

And though the Lord himself should say. " Forbear, 

They grasp the dazzling prize as false as fair. 


A little weeping over glad hopes, perished, 

A little laying down of work begun, 
A little giving up of treasures, cherished, 

A little mourning o'er the task undone, 
A little bearing of the burdens, resting 

In Him who ever doeth what is best, 
A little longer here, the billows breasting, 

Which else would bear us farther from our rest 

134 Boxborough: a New England Town and its People. 

And then, beside the quiet crystal river, 

'Mid pastures green and fair, shall we repose ; 
No tears shall dim the eyes, nor sorrow ever 

Shall enter there, nor aught of human woes ; 
The Savior's presence makes the whole land glorious. 

And there, at last, we '11 see Him face to face, 
When, over all these earthly things victorious. 

We enter in to Heaven, our dwelling-place. 


Does thy path seem to thee dreary ? 

Look above ; 
Lift thy heart in prayer, nor weary ; 

Trust His love. 
Whatsoe'er His wisdom sendeth, 
Though, with grief, thy heart He rendeth, 
Though the blessings that He sendeth 

He remove. 
All, He for thy good intendeth : 

Trust His love. 

Dost thou seek to know what lieth 

On before? 
'Tis enough that He descrieth 

. Evermore. 
Though thy feet are torn and bleeding. 
Take His hand and trust His leading; 
Jesus knows just what thou 'rt needing 

On this shore ; 
Faith He '11 give thee for thy pleading; 

Trust him more. 
Though thy cross be not with roses 

Strewn today. 
Though until this earth-life closes. 

Dark thy way, 
Yet beyond the night there's dawning 
Joy that cometh in the morning ; 
Press thou on, thy trials scorning. 

On, nor stay ! 
Thou shalt yonder in the dawning, 

Rest for aye. 


When the breezes of summer are dying, 
And the winds of the autumn time call 

Through the tree-tops, with moaning and sighing. 
Comes the season, the saddest of all ; — 

Poems. 135 

When the birch and the chestnut are turning 

From the mid-summer green to the gold, 
And the maples are glowing and burning 

In the depths of the thick forest old; 

When the sumachs, that none but the Master 
Thus could paint, deck the copse and the plain, 

And the golden-rod, gentian, and aster, 
Fade away in the meadow and lane ; 

When the song of the cricket comes faintly 

From the orchard, the hillside, and lea; — 
For "t is then that a loved one, so saintly. 

Speaks once more a sad farewell to me. 

Like a dream are the years since my childhood, 

And again, with a dear one alone, 
I am treading the path through the wildwood, 

With the mosses and ferns overgrown ; 

1 can hear as of old the sweet story 

That she told me that bright summer day. 
Of the Savior, of heaven and its glory, 

Which await all the righteous for aye. 

Then she said: "Very soon I am going 

To the beautiful Home that I love ;" 
And she plead, while her tears fast were flowing, 

That at last I would meet her above. 

I renewed the grave promise I made her 

In the bright summer days of the year, 
When, at rest, in the autumn, they laid her, 

'Neath the grasses so brown and so sere. 

I have missed her, O, how I have missed her ! 

Since they took her away from my gaze ; 
And my heart, every year, for my sister 

Yearns anew, in the sad autumn days. 

But the spring, with its sunshine and showers, 

Will awaken the buds of the trees, 
And will call forth the beautiful flowers 

From their sleep underneath the dead leaves. 

And as nature ariseth in gladness 

From its long winter's rest to rich bloom, 
So our loved ones, o'er earth and its sadness 

All triumphant, shall rise from the tomb. 

Then why mourn that the friends God has given 

He removes for a few weary years ; 
They are only transplanted to heaven 

P'rom the garden of earth's smiles and tears. 

136 Boxhorovgh : a New England Totvn and its People. 

And if true to our God, we shall meet them 
Over there on the " livergreen Shore," 

15y the dear Savior's side we shall greet them. 
To go out from their presence no more. 


Do we feel that the word gently spoken 

Is forgotten or lost where it lies? 
It shall rise yet again as a token. 

For the good that we do never dies. 

It may shrink to the depths from earth's pleasure 
As the bud 'neath the cold, chilling frost ; 

But the springtime shall bring forth its treasure, 
For the good that we do is ne'er lost. 

Does the hand-clasp so earnest and kindly 
Seem as naught that we do to relieve ? 

It may comfort a heart groping blindly, 
It may soothe where a cold look would grieve. 

And the kind, loving thought that we cherish. 
Bringing peace to some sad, weary soul, 

Giving strength to one ready to perish. 
Is not lost while the ages shall roll. 

And the word, and the act, and the feeling, 
Though they seem very small in our eyes. 

May be angels of mercy revealing 

The great message of love from the skies. 


I see it now as when in youth, 
We children scampered o'er the sill ; 

'T was rude, ah ! yes, — and all uncouth. 
The old red school-house on the hill. 

'Twas built of brick, but many a storm 
Had beat upon those red walls, bare. 

And left its mark in rent forlorn, 
All plastered o'er with zealous care. 

In entry small were ranged around 
Or hook or nail for hat or scarf; 

And there at merry school-bell's sound 
We hung them up with shout and laugh. 

Poeim. 137 

Our gleesome words we scarce could quell 

Ere teacher's " Hush," a warning gave, 
Then quietly in line we fell, 

Oft late the punishment to save. 

The rough pine benches lettered o'er 

By many hands in idle hours, — 
I see them now as when of yore 

We wreathed them round with wildwood flowers. 

The teacher's desk with seat so high, 

Beside the black-board where we toiled 
O'er problem hard, — with faces wry. 

And hands which chalk and tears had soiled. 

The stove that stood the door-way nigh, — 

The "low seat" running out behind, — 
The smoke-stained walls and windows high, 

On memory's page, all these I find. 

I mind me how a summer day, 

We gazed the open door-way through, 
On pasture green and broad highway, 

Where often passed the friends we knew. 

And last, not least, the teachers kind 

And scholars who those aisles have trod ; 
A few beside us still we find, — 

A few are lying 'neath the sod. 

I think of one who shared my seat. 

Beside me sat in every class; — 
But nevermore this one we '11 greet, 

Until we too from earth shall pass. 

Another faded while the leaves 

Were growing crisp and brown and sere ; 
The time when nature round us weaves 

The garlands of the dying year ; 

Upon the hill-side gray and bare 

When autumn winds were blowing cool, 
They laid to rest with tenderest care 

The favorite of our merry school. 

The Angel Reaper came onCe more, 

And gathered home two sisters fair, — 
They passed them to the fadeless shore, 

Its peaceful, holy joys to share. 

The rest who met within those walls, 

Are scattered over all the land: 
A few preside in other halls 

Of learning, — o'er some merry band. 

138 Boxhorough : a New England Toivn and its People. 

And each pursues his chosen way 
In paths of wrong or paths of right ; 

Toils on the tide of sin to stay, 

Or sinks beneath its curse and blight. 

May not our work be but begun, 
When life's great school at last is o'er; 

And may we all, our tasks well done, 
Rejoin the school-mates gone before. 

The school-house rude no more is seen, 

A modern one now marks the spot, 
But yet by well-tried friends I ween. 

Our school-house ne'er will be forgot. 


I miss thee by the little stream 

Where we full often roved, 
Where grew the flowers, the sweet wild flowers 

We both so dearly loved ; 
The asters blooming on its brink, 

The gentians, Heaven's own blue, 
The lowly pink gerardias 

All lead thee back anew. 
Methinks their hues would brighter seem, 

Their fragrance be more sweet, 
Could'st thou, as oft in other days, 

Their opening beauty greet. 

I miss thee in the wooded glen, 

Where ferns and mosses grow; 
And in the long, gray fields at eve. 

Dear friend, I miss thee so. 
Can'st thou remember still the way 

Beneath the pine-trees' shade, 
Where, in the quiet eventide. 

Our feet together strayed ? 
I see not now thy welcome form, 

I tread the path alone, 
Whilst, in the branches, zephyrs sweet 

Are sad-voiced spirits grown. 

I strain my eyes to catch a glimpse, 

Adown the narrow street. 
Of her, whom oft in bygone days. 

My waiting eyes would greet ; 
I see thee not — I hear thee pass 

The casement by no more ; 
I cannot hear thy gentle voice 

Call softly at the door. 

Poerm. 139 

The doors are barred, the shutters closed. 

Where I was wont to see 
The well-known faces from the home 

Gaze smiling out at me. 
I miss thee from the garden walk, 

The vine-clad portico, 
And 'neath the trees where I have seen 

The loved forms come and go. 

1 miss thee, miss thee most of all 

Within the room of prayer; 
No other e'er can be the same, 

Thy place is vacant there. 
I miss thy words of counsel. 

Thy gentle words of cheer. 
Thy hopefulness, thy trustfulness. 

Thy love which knew no fear. 
The place, that thou beside my own 

Wast ever wont to fill, 
Has waited, as for thy return, 

Is empty, waiting still. 

I miss thee, but I '11 meet thee soon. 

Beside the Living Stream ; 
On those fair banks all grief shall be 

As it had never been ; 
There, sweetest flowers our eyes shall greet. 

Of amaranthine hue, 
Upspringing in the Heavenly fields. 

In beauty ever new. 
Our hearts shall know no parting there. 

No grief shall ever come ; 
But in that Paradise of God, 
" We '11 dwell with Christ at Home." 


The gloom is dense ; the darkness fills 

The world with deepest shades of night 

The dawn begins ; Judea's hills 

Are bathed in its effulgent light. 

'T is morning now ; o'er all the place 

Where erst an angry mob was seen 

'T is quiet ; over all the race 

A death-like Stillness reigns as queen. 

140 Boxhorour/h : a New England Town and it ft People. 

The place is hushed where Jesus lay ; 
His murderers have had their will ; 
Within the tomb not far away 
The smitten form at last is still. 
The women come with trembling heart ; 
" Who will for us remove the stone? " 
When lo ! the door is rent apart, 
And angel guards keep watch alone. 

" I know your errand ; cease your fear; '" 

They hear the shining angel say. 
" The Lord is risen ; He is not here ; 

Come see the place where Jesus lay. 

Go quickly, His disciples tell 

To Galilee He goes before; — "' 

A glad refrain the breezes swell, — ■ 
" There they shall see His face once more." 

" Seek not the living 'mid the dead, 
Lo ! I have told you; go your way; 
The Lord is risen as He said." 
The night is past; 't is break of day. 
" He lives ! " the echoes send reply, 
" He lives o'er earth and heaven to reign ; " 
And everything in earth or sky 
Repeats, " He lives ! He lives again ! " 

You who have seen your loved ones die. 
Who feel the bitter pain and loss, 
Restrain the tear; repress the sigh, 
Behold* the glowing Easter cross. 
The Crucified is ris'n to reign ; 
So all He loves shall rise again ; 
Let saints and angels join the strain, 
And all the nations say, " Amen ! " 


I gathered them upon the streamlet's brink. 
Fringed gentians, blue as autumn skies o'erhead; 

Then sat me down beside the brooklet's edge. 
And thought of one for many long years dead. 

I gazed upon the blue-fringed petals there, 
Until the present day seemed lost to me. 

And we, the children then, 'mid other scenes, 
Roamed field and wood, all careless, glad and free. 

Poeim. 1-11 

We gather gentians by the river side, 

These same fair azure flowers, she and I ;— 
We twine them o'er our desks at village school,- 

We lay them on a playmate's grave to die. 
The years pass on ; within a quiet room 

A wasted invalid is lying low ; 
A gentle hand is resting on her brow, 

And gentian flowers soothe the sufferer's woe. 

And then,— the fair blue blossoms purple seem, 

The autumn sky is blackness grown o'erhead : 
The gentle zephyrs wailing winds become, 

And I am left alone but for the dead. 

Upon a pillow of the purest bloom, 

Traced in the azure blue she loved so well. 
Above a coffined form this tribute rests : 
" Dear friend." We loved thee more than words can tell. 

The flowers on the earth were withering ; 

The sun had run its course ev'n to the west; 
I gathered up the faded, dying flowers, 

And went my way — once more to home and rest. 


It is done as I requested 

And you need no longer stay, 
I will pay this little trifle 

At some more convenient day." 
Quick the door turns on its hinges, 

And upon the cold, gray stone, 
With the winter sky above her, 

Stands the seamstress — all alone. 

Hastily the bell she reaches,— 

But she falters — then — so slow — 
Turns away, and down the pathway 

Staggers on into the snow. 
Bitter winds amid the tree-tops. 

Wailing, moaning, hurry by, 
But she does not heed their voices ; 

Hears she but one pleading cry. 

" I 'm so cold and hungry, mother. 
Do not leave your Willie long ; " 

" Come and sit beside me, mother. 
List with me the angels' song." 

142 Boxhorough : a JVew England Town and its Peoj)le. 

Well she knew her boy was dying ; 

Sickness, want, their work had done ; 
And " the crumbs " from Riches' table 

Might have saved her only son ! 

She has gained the narrow alley, 

Passed the door and climbed the stair, 
Reached the side, 'mid growing darkness, 

Of the dear one waiting there. 
Blaze the lights in wealthy mansions, — 

But no taper gilds t/wi'r gloom, — 
Christmas-trees with costly fruitage, — 

Want, dwells in that attic room. 

Hark ! the city bells are chiming, 

Listen, mother, to their lay ; 
' Unto you is born a Savior, 

Christ the Lord is born today. 
Glory, glory in the highest. 

Peace on earth, good-will to men ; ' 
I shall soon be with the angels, 

I shall hear that song again." 

Bending o'er her child, the mother 

Waits for him the glad release ; 
All foi"gotten, in the Presence, 

Weariness and hunger cease. 
Still the bells are chiming, chiming. 

Still the mansions' Christmas cheer. 
Still the moaning in the tree-tops ; — 

But the King of Kings is Jit^rc. 

Christmas morning dawns in splendor. 

Merry greetings fill the air ; 
Loving friends round happy hearth-stone 

Meet, their Christmas joys to share. 
Christmas bells still sweetly chime them, 

But the angels' song begun, 
Changes to a Welcome Chorus 

For the mother and her son. 


Written for the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Dix, Townsend, Mass., Mar. 8. 

My thoughts through vanished years, tonight. 
Flow back, along Time's rippling stream, 
As gentle wavelets, clear and bright, 
Glide 'neath the moonlight's silv'ry beam: 


They lead me backward fifty years, 
Through joy and sorrow, smiles and tears. 

And there I fain would pause, at last, 
And view that scene of days gone by ; 
Two hands close-clasped, a promise passed. 
And then two heads bent reverently ; 
Kind wishes said, and all is done. 
Two lives have drifted into one. 

The happy days to years increase, — 
The quiet years of hope and joy, — 
Ere sorrow comes to mar their peace. 
Or mingle it with Grief's alloy ; 
Then, — little hands crossed on the breast, 
And little forms laid down to rest. 

And so the cloudlet veils the sun, 

And so the sunshine tints the shade. 

As down the years that ceaseless run. 

Thought, flowing on, is ne'er delayed ; 

Yet two familiar forms are seen, 

Through all the changeful shade and sheen. 

And children loved are there to bless. 
With merry voice and happy face ; 
And aged ones round hearth-stones press. 
While still the years roll on apace ; 
Then, — wedding days and farewells said. 
And aged ones laid with the dead. 

A daughter calmly laying down 
The pleasures of Life's springtime fair. 
That up above, the promised crown, 
She may with joy forever wear. 
Time passes on ; it will not stay. 
And fifty years have rolled away. 

How fast these fifty years have fled! 
Yet happy years they 've been withal, 
The sun e'er shining overhead, 
Ev'n while a shadow seems to fall ; 
A God, e'er watching o'er our ways, 
Whose blessings crown our earthly days. 

And now, kind friends, to meet you here. 
This eve of early spring, have come 
To celebrate with words of cheer 
This Golden Wedding in your home ; 
Your children, relatives, and all. 
Unite in this glad festival. 

144 Boxhorough : a Neiv Eyigland Town and its People. 

May many years of quiet peace 

Be unto you an earnest given 

Of fairer days, when life sliall cease 

Amid the blissful joys of Heaven ; 

And may you join when life is o'er, 

In that Blest Land, friends gone before. 


Beneath the dry and withered leaves 

On the hillside gray and bare 
We find the pale arbutus flowers. 
All dewy wet with April showers, 
Dewy and sweet and fair. 

Unseen their beauty 'neath the leaves. 
Till the eager, out-stretched hand 

Removes the leafy canopy. 

Then lowly clustering, we spy 
Blossoms, — a fragrant band. 

A rough exterior often hides 

From the gaze of passers-by, 
A heart of truest, purest worth ; 
A noble soul of heavenly birth. 
Fragrant — its ministry. 

But when we search beneath the leaves,- 

The forbidding, rude disguise, — 
We find the blossoms fair and sweet : 
We find a soul for glory meet, 
Which underneath them lies. 


If, walking 'midst life's roses 

With sunny skies above. 
Upon our brow soft breezes. 

Around us those we love ; 
Without a doubt to trouble 

Our calm unruffled way, 
We trust to God's great wisdom 

To guide us day by day. 
Can this be faith ? 

Poeim. Ul 

Ah ! no : but when the blossoms 

Are dead around our feet ; 
When skies are dark at noon-day, 

And all that makes life sweet 
Has faded with the flowers ; 

If then no doubt intrude 
Of Him who of our life-walk 

Has made this solitude, 
Oh, this is faith. 


On a brown and sheltered liillsidc 

'Neath the trees with leaflets sere, 
'Mid the mosses and the lichens, 

In the morning of the year, 
While the wind of early springtime 

Through the pine-grove sobs and grieves, 
Gathered we the pale sweet flowerets 

From their nest beneath the leaves. 
Fragrant, frail arbutus blossoms, 

Waxen, spotless as the snow ; 
Just as sweet, and pure, and fragrant. 

As they were a year ago. 

One short year ago and round mc 

Friendship bound her silken tliread; 
O'er my shadowy way her radiance 

Like a living glory spread. 
And the rocky path and thorny • 

Smoother grew beneath my feet, 
And beside it, just beyond me, 

Bloomed hope's flow'rets, fair and sweet. 

But the springtime merged in summer, 

And the autumn days drew near ; 
Then the heavens grew dark and threatening. 

And the leaves fell brown and sere. 
Winter came, and o'er life's landscape 

Fell a mantle,, cold and white, 
All the radiance and the beauty 

Shut forever from my sight. 
Spring brings not to me the friendship 

That the winter stole away, 
But the frail, sweet, springtime blossoms 

Changeless come to cheer each day. 

146 Boxhoroiigh : a Neiv England Town and its People. 

The earth resplendent with the golden sunshine 
Lies glorified along our way. 


A lesson we may learn of thee, 

Thou busy brook ; 
To tread unmoved our narrow way, 
Through cloudy or through sunny day, 
Unheeding all the world may say. 

Nor backward look. 

— THE brooklet's LESSON. 

The loving thoughts we shelter in the heart 
Upspringing there, the blades of good shall grow, 
Which, kept by watchful care from weeds apart, — 
The evil thoughts we but too often sow, — 

Shall flourish, grow in strength, and soon increase, 
And we in life's last days the fruit shall see ; 
Reward of life well spent, — eternal peace, — 
For " as our sowing, shall our reaping be." 


Oftentimes beside the quiet lake, 

The merry children searched for shell or stone. 
Or wandered in the meadow after lilies, 

Or listened to the water's ceaseless moan. 

Past that quiet spot I roamed today. 

But sound of human voice I could not hear; 
Where'er I sought, — no sign of human presence, — 
Save Nature's murmur, — silence far and near. 


The influence of every word 

I felt for either good or ill, 
And hearts by loving thoughts bestirred, 

A kindly influence e'er distil. 
And, as the dew upon the flower, 
So falls on man its magic power. 


The day, with its cares, is closing. 
And the twilight shades enfold 

The gray old hills. 

The rocks and rills. 
And the pines beyond the wold. 

The Hager Family. 14' 

A quiet, all calm and holy, 
O'er the world is resting low, 

As if apart 

To lift the heart 
From its earthly care and woe. 


Few her years and full of sorrow, 

Yet across the pale, sweet face. 
Not a shadow comes to borrow 

Aught of all its trust and grace. 


Ah ! we know not ; yet God knoweth, 

Wisely hath he planned it all ; 
Sow thy seed, then wait with patience 

Till God's rain and sunshine fall ; 
Springing forth but at His bidding 

It shall surely hear His call. 

— sow THE SEED. 

— when at last 

The trial's past 
The soul shall purer be, 

And brighter shine. 

Through coming time, 
For sorrow's ministry. 


And the deep blue heavens low-bending. 

Seem to bless the woodland bowers, 
Bidding them awake from slumber 

'Midst the gentle April showers. 


George H. Hager married Florence E. Albee, of Clinton, 
and they have two daughters, Mabel Elizabeth and Mary Alice. 
George H. and Benjamin O. Hager are engaged in the grocery 
business in Clinton. John M. Hager married Mattie L. Coan, 
of Soraerville, and resides in that place. They have a 
daughter, Mildred Rich, and a son, Clayton Marden. 

Daniel Hager, the youngest son .of Phinehas and Ruth 
Hager, born Feb. 10, 1829, married Maria H. Nottage, of Stark, 

148 Boxhorough : a New England Toivn and its People. 

Maine, and went to Kansas where they remained eight years. 
They were the parents of five chikU'en, of whom four are living: 
Esther J. and Ella J., twin girls, William IT. and Herhert W. 
They are now settled in Wendell, Mass. William II. married 
Miss Margaret Cope and resides in TuUy, Mass. They have 
two children. 






Mr. James Rule Hayden has lived upon the farm which he 
owns at the present time, for fifty-one years. His grandfather, 
Peter Wheeler, who was born in 1760 and died in 1846 at the 
advanced age of eighty-six years, formerly occupied the place, 
and at his death left it to his grandson. James R. Hayden is 
tlie son of Rufus and Nabby (Wlieeler) Hayden, and was born 
in Acton, Mass., in 1824, being the 3'oungest but one of a 
family of five children, four sons and one daughter. Mrs. 
Susan C. Fletcher, of Fletcher Corner, Acton, is Mr. Hayden's 
sister. He came to reside with his grandfather in 1840, and 
took care of him tlie last six years of his life. Mr. Wheeler 
Avas thrice married. His first wife, Mr. Hayden's grandmother, 
was Abigail Tuttle of Acton, and Nabby was one of a family 
of thirteen. Mr. Peter Wheeler served as a major drummer in 
the Revolutionary War. He lies buried in the cemetery at the 
south part of the town. 

Mr. James R. Hayden married for his first wife. Miss Aro- 
line Dickey, of China, Me., and they were the parents of three 
children, Orville J., William H. and Nellie A. Orville J. 
Hayden married Miss Mary Stone, of Royalston, Mass., and 
they have one daughter, Harriet Edith. They reside in 
Somerville, Mass., where Mr. Hayden is employed by the 
Adams Express Co. William H. Hayden married Miss Flora 
Strickland, of Lowell, Mass., and they, with their three 

150 Boxhorough : a Neiv Eyigland Town and its People. 

children, Arthur A., Florence A., and George, are settled at 
East Acton. Nellie A. Hayden married Mr. Frederic Norris, 
of Boston, and removed to Medford, Mass. Mr. Norris is a 
painter in that place. They have three sons, Ernest, Frank, 
and Harold. 

Mr. James K. Hayden married for his second wife. Miss 
Harriet Sargent, daughter of Elijah and Ahiah (Foster) 
Sargent, of Denville, Vt. She was the j^oungest of a family of 
eight children. 

Mr. Hayden's brick dwelling is situated at the junction of 
the old turnpike and the Stow road, and in close proximity to 
the Congregational church and parsonage. He has been sexton 
of the church twenty-eight years. He has always been an 
industrious man, and the farm of his ancestors has improved 
under his hands. 

In Peter Wheeler's time, a blacksmith's shop arose on the 
site of the present parsonage. The house in which he lived 
was situated on the common in front of Mr. Hayden's dwelling, 
which was built about sixty years ago. An old well marks the 
spot. After the erection of the new edifice, the old building 
was removed, and forms a part of the barn on the premises at 
the present time. 


I am indebted to ]\Ir. Herbert Nelson Hayward, of Rowley, 
Mass., formerly of Boxborough, for information regarding the 
Hayward family, nearly all of Avhich has been selected from the 
" Genealogy of the Hayward Family " whicli he is preparing 
at the present time. 

" Georg Heaward " or Hayward, and his wife, Mary 
(American ancestors of the Boxborough Haywards), were one 
of the " about twelve families " that Rev. Peter Bulkeley, of 
Odell, England, and Simon Willard, a merchant of Horsmon- 
den, County of Kent, brought witli them, embarking from 
London, May 9, 103;"), in the ship " Susan and Ellen" (Cap- 
tain Edward Paine, of A\'api)ing, England), and settled at 

Tlie Hayward FumiJij. 151 

Musketaqiiicl (Concord, Mass.), in the fall of 1635. He was 
one of the first settlers of Concord, and had an allotment of 
land from the first division of lands of the original grant, by 
the General Court, of six miles of land square, where he 
built a house and barn. In 1661 he built a saw-mill, afterward 
a corn-mill, at what is still known as Hajward's ]Mills. His- 
full name has appeared in ancient records, in addition to that 
above, as Gog Heaward, Georg Heward, George Heyward, 
Georg Heyward, George Heiward, George Heywood and Geo. 
Howard ; but Savage in his " Genealogical Dictionary " says, 
"he wrote his name Heaward." Georg Heaward and wife are 
quite likely a branch of the Haj^ward, alias Haward, or 
Howard family, that early settled on the Isle of Hartrey, in 
the northeast part of Kent County, Dngland. T]iii< Hay ward 
family was a branch of the very ancient and original famil}^ of 
Havard or Hay ward, alias Ha vert, Heyward, Haward, Howard, 
of Wales, where the earliest records of the Norman ancestor, — 
who, it is said, came in the eleventh century from Havre de 
Grace, the seaport town of Normandy, in the northern part of 
France, — are found to be. 

" Joseph ; heaward," or " hayward,"" as he signed his name 
to his will, Jan. 29, 1711, was the second son of Georg Hea- 
ward and Mary, his wife, of Concord, Mass. He was born in 
Concord, Mar. 26, 1613 ; married(l) Hannah Hosmer, of Con- 
cord, who died Dec. 15, 1675 ; (2) Elizabeth Tread way, of 
Watertown, who probably died 1699. He died Oct. 13, 1711, 
aged 71. 

Simeon hayward, of Concord, sixth son of Joseph and 
Elizabeth hayward, barn in 1683, married Reljecca Hartw^U, 
of Concord, in 1705, died May 18, 1719. Dea. Samuel Hay- 
ward, of Acton, Mass., second son of Simeon hayward, or Hay- 
ward, and Rebecca (Hartwell) Hayward, of Concord, — born 
1713, married 1739. Mary Stevens died Mar. 6, 1791, aged 
77 years, 11 months, 1 da}'. Paul Hayward, of Boxborough, 
second son of Dea. Samuel and Mary (Stevens) Hayward, of 
Acton, born Apr. 2, 1715, married Anna White, of Acton, July 
11, 1768, died May 16, 1825, aged 79 years, 10 months, 17 

152 Boxhorough : a New Englmid Town and its People. 

days. His wife, Anna, died at the advanced age of 91 3-ears, 
8 months, 24 days. On coming to Boxborough, they settled 
on the farm now owned by Mrs. Eliza A. Hay ward. They had 
a family of ten children : Anna, Paul, Sarah, Mather, Elizabeth, 
James, Susannah, Ebenezer, Mary and Samuel Hay ward. 
Anna married Moses Whitcomb ; Dea. Paul (1771-1841) married 
Lucy Whitcomb; Sarah (1772-1866) married Keuben Graham ; 
Mather (1774-1850) married Lucy Page, of Bedford ; Eliza- 
beth (1776-1854) married (1) Gates, (2) Whitcomb, of Little- 
ton ; James (1779-1846) married Eunice Wood, of Boxborough ; 
Susannah married Moses Hartwell, of Littleton ; Ebenezer 
(1783-1861) married Polly Wetherbee ; Mary married (1) 
John Wood, (2) Jonathan Nource, of Boxborough ; Esquire 
Samuel (1785-1863) married Sophia Stevens, of Marlborough. 
Dea. Paul and Lucy (Whitcomb) Hayward had fourteen 
children : Paul, Lucy, Ephraim, Joel, James, John, Stevens, 
Samuel, Hannah, Eliza Ann, Joseph, and three who died 
young. Paul, Ephraim, Joel, James, John and Samuel, all 
settled in Ashby, Mass. ; Lucy married John Kimball, of 
Littleton ; Stevens married Harriet Johnson ; Hannah died at 
the age of twenty-four; Eliza A. married (1) Ebenezer W. 
Hayward, (2) Col. John Whitcomb, both of Boxborough ; and 
Dea. Joseph, born Mar. 12, 1819, married (1) Catherine Walton 
Wellington, and (2) Mrs. Ellen A. Bezanson, of Chelsea, 
Mass., Sept. 30, 1884. 


James Hayward, who married Harriet Poster, and. settled 
in Ashby, had one son, Joel Poster, born in Ashby, Nov. 8, 
1835. He remained upon the farm with his father until 
twenty-one years of age, and then attended school at Wilbra- 
ham for one year. Returning home, he soon after came to 
Boxborough, remained with his Uncle Joseph Hayward a short 
time, worked for James C. Houghton, of Littleton, a few 
months, and then upon solicitation returned and taught the 
winter term of the South school in Ashby. hi the spring. 

Joel F. Hayirard. 153 

Mr. Adelbert Mead, of Acton, engaged him to work through 
the summer for Isaac Whitney, of Harvard. The following 
winter he spent in the employ of A. and O. W. Mead and Co., 
Acton, of whom he bought a farm in that town, where he 
remained twelve years. Afterward removing to Boxborough, 
he resided upon the Stone place nine years, and then having 
purchased the farm of Col. John Wliitcomb, he removed thither 
with his family. 

July 6, 1859, he married Sarah E. Webber, of .Vshb}', and 
they were the parents of eight children: Cornelia A., who 
married Granville Veasie, of Boxborough ; Cordelia E., who 
died young ; James P., Stevens, Joel Foster, Minnie, Martha 
J. and Roland. 

Joel Foster Hay ward, Sr., was for ten years deacon of the 
Congregational church in Acton. He taught school one term 
in No. 4 District, 1860; and he has served the town as super- 
intendent of schools, also as auditor and selectman. 

Deacon Joseph and Catharine (Wellington) HayAvard had 
two children, Josei)h Warren and Lucie Helena. J. Warren, 
born Apr. 3, 1843, married, Jan. 29, 1874, Margaret A. V. 
Hutchins, of Carlisle, Mass., and they have four children, Lena, 
William W., Warren and Charles M. Mr. Hayward has 
served the town as selectman and assessor for several years, 
also as school committee. Lucie H. married Edgar C. Mead, 
of Boxborough, and they have four children, Clarence W., 
Eben H., P^thel W. and Catharine L. Joseph Hayward was 
deacon of the Congregational church in Boxborough for twenty- 
six years. He died June 22, 1888. 

James and Eunice (Wood) Hayward were the parents of 
nine children : Eunice, Susannah, James Wood, John (who 
died when 26 years of age), Stevens, Lucy Ann, Paul (who 
died at the age of twenty), and two who died in childhood. 
Eunice married Emery Fairbanks ; Susannah married Sewell 
Fairbanks ; James Wood married Hannah E. Conant, of Acton, 
Mass. ; Stevens married Charlotte Conant, of Acton, who was 
eighth in descent from Roger Conant, the fii-st Colonial Gover- 
nor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Cape Ann, in 1624 ; 

154 Boxborough : a JVew England Town and its People. 

Lucy Ann married Thomas Burbeck, of Acton, buried her 
husband in 1870, and is now living with her brother, Stevens 
Hayward, in Boxborough. " James Hayward " says William 
S. Wood in his "Wood Genealogy," "was named for his uncle, 
James Hayward, of Acton, Mass., who fell at Lexington, Apr. 
19, 1775, the day of the Concord fight." He was said to have 
been an excellent man and universally esteemed by those who 
knew him. He was for a number of years, selectman, assessor, 
and highway surveyor of Boxborough. Captain James Wood 
Hayward, his son, resides in West Acton. He has been active 
and enterprising, and is a prominent man in his town. 

Stevens and Charlotte (Conant) Hayward Avere the parents 
of five children : Charles H., who died in infancy, Herbert N., 
J. Quincy, Clara S. and Lottie M. Herbert N. married Sarah 
P. Baldwin, of Waltham, and they have one son, William 
Baldwin. Mr. Hayward is engaged in the retail grocery 
and provision business in liowley, Mass., where he resides 
with his family. J. Quinc}^ a graduate of Amherst, class of 
1882, is at present engaged on the staff of the Bunker Hill 
Times., Boston. Clara S. married Charles L. Woodward, of 
Landsgrove, Vt., Mar. 25, 1884, and is settled on the home- 
stead place of her father in Boxborough. They have one son, 
Harry. Lottie M. married Charles V. McClenathan, of West 
Rindge, N. H. They have one child. 

Stevens Hayward received an academic education, taught 
school in Boxborough and Acton, and finally settled on his 
father's farm, where he has lived most of his life. He was a 
member of the Boxborough Light Infantry Company when it 
existed, and has been school committee and highway surveyor 
of Boxborough. 

Ebenezer and Polly (Wetherbee) Hayward had seven 
children: Ebenezer W., Albert, Mary, Franklin, Susanna, 
Anna and Paul. Ebenezer W. married Eliza Ann Hayward, 
daughter of Dea. Paul and Lucy (Whitcomb) Hayward. Dea. 
Albert married Eliza Wetherbee, of Concord, and settled in 
Acton, Mass. Their two sons, George and Edwin, reside in 
AVest Acton. Anna married Ariston M. Hayward, of Bridge- 

The Haytvard Eamily. 155 

water, Nov. 16, 1867, and removed to that place, where she now 
resides. She taught school in Districts Nos. 2, 3 and 4 in her 
native town, also in the Primary and Intermediate or Grammar 
schools in West Acton. Hon. Paul Hay ward married Alice 
M. Balcom, of Sudbury, Mass., and they were the parents of 
four children, Alice P., who died in infancy ; Florence M., 
Albert H. and Cally H. Florence M. married Maurice G. 
Cochrane, of Melrose. Albert H. is master mechanic of the 
Thomson-Houston Electric Company, of all work on the West 
End Street Railway System, Boston, and he is also purchasing 
agent for the same company. Hon. Paul Hay ward resided on 
his father's homestead for many years. He was school com- 
mittee and deacon of the Congregational church for a long 
time. He had the honor of being sent representative from 
Boxborough in 1871, and he served in the late civil war for 
nearly two years. On account of the sickness and suffering- 
experienced while in his country's service, he was granted, in 
1885, an invalid pension. He removed from Boxborough to 
Reading in 1864, thence to Melrose Highlands in 1879. In 
1887 he went to Los Angeles, California, and entered the 
employ of the Los Angeles Electric Street Railway, as a con- 
ductor. He is now temporarily residing there. 

Esquire Samuel Haywood and Sophia, his wife, were the 
parents of five children : Mary Ann, Louisa, Samuel Henry, 
Sophia Lavina, and Susan. Mary Ann, born in Boxborough, 
Apr. 19, 1815, married, Oct. 5, 1876, Samuel K. Hildreth, of 
Medford, Mass. Louisa, born Sept. 8, 1820, married Augustus 
Rice, of Marlborough, and settled at Rock-bottom. She is now 
a resident of Cambridge, Mass. Samuel Henry, born Aug. 
13, 1823, married Louisa Conant, and died Dec. 6, 1884. 
Sophia Lavina, born Nov. 12, 1826, married Isaac Warren 
Fletcher, of Stow, in 1851. He died in 1863. Susan, born 
June 11, 1829, died Jan. 13, 1854, aged twenty-four years. 
Esquire Samuel Hayward lies in the beautiful family lot in 
the lower burying-ground in Boxborough, and his only son, 
Samuel Henry, is also buried there. 

ir)G Boxhorough: a New England Town and its People. 

Deacon M. E. Wood, in his centennial sj^eech, said of the 
six Haywai'd sons who removed to Ashby : "'• They, and their 
descendants, exert a hirge influence in all that pertains to the 
welfare of the town, both agricultural and educational. In all 
the work of the church they are generous supporters ; one of 
them at his death left a generous bequest, that these blessings 
might be perpetuated." The obituary notice of their mother is 
worthy of note : " This aged Christian was a pattern of 
industry, kindness, meekness, patience and piety. For three 
score and six years she was a consistent member of the Congre- 
gational church in Boxborough ; her eleven children joined the 
church of their mother, and two of them became deacons in it 
after their father." 

It is related of Dea. Paul Hayward, grandfather of Dea. 
Joseph Hayward, that, having raised a good crop of corn one 
season, a thing which no otlier farmer had succeeded in 
doing, — seed corn consequently being scarce and high, — he 
would sell only half a peck to any one person, rich or poor, 
and that at the rate of |'2 per busliel. 

Dea. Paul Hayward, the father of Dea. Joseph Hayward, 
did a great deal for the Congregational church when it was in 
its infancy. So marked were his efforts in this direction, that 
he may almost be said to have been the founder of it. Was 
money wanted for one purpose or another? He helped to 
raise it. Were there arrearages to meet ? He put his hand 
into his own pocket and paid them. Was a house Avanted for 
the pastor's residence ? He built one (Mr. Peter Whitcomb's 
present dwelling) and gave the minister the free use of it dur- 
ing his lifetime. He was forward in every good word and 
work. After his death, his mantle fell upon his son, Dea. 
Joseph Hayward, who was one of the pillars of the church 
in Boxbarough, and will long hd missed from his accus- 
tomed place. 


John Hoar, born July 18, 1791, was one of the old residents 
of Boxborough, and formerly occupied the house where Jerome 

John Hoar. 157 

Whitney now lives. The artwell, AMiitcomb Hand Whitney 
places, were, in his da}-, all in one farm. He married Harriet 
Hartwell, of Littleton, and their three childi-en aie married and 
settled in Hoxborough, on these three farms. The eldest 
daughter, Harriet P^lvira, born Nov. 7, 1816, married Mr. Jerome 
Whitney, Jan. 19, 1839, and resides at the old homestead. 
Caroline, the second daughter, born March, 1820, married Mr. 
Granville Whitcomb, Mar. 4, 1841, and resides near b}' on a 
farm which was once a part of the original homestead ; and 
Simon Hartwell (Hoar J), born May, 1818, married Lydia 
Tuttle, daughter of Nathan Tuttle, of Littleton, and settled on 
the third farm taken from the original homestead. Mr. and 
Mrs. Whitney have two children living, Harriet Elvira, who 
married Ephraim Cobleigh, of Boxborough, and Ora, ^yho is a 
teacher in Maiden. Mr. and Mi-s. Simon Hartwell have buried 
three children, and have five living, Cora, Florence, Albert, 
Linus, and Edna. Cora resides in Boston. Florence married 
James, son of Captain Tuttle, of Acton Centre, and is a 
resident of that village. Albert married Nellie Fitch, and 
settled in Somerville, is in the milk business in that city, and 
has acquired quite a property. Linus is also engaged in the 
milk business in Charlestown. Edna, at the present time, is at 
home. ^Ir. Simon Hartwell has served the town as selectman, 
constable and collector, and auditor, and has filled the positions 
of assessor, and moderator at town meetings, for man}' consecu- 
tive years. He is highly esteemed by his townsmen. 

John Hoar married Betsey Barker, of Acton, for his second 
wife, and they were the pai-ents of five children : Cephas, born 
Aug. 17, 1822, Forestus, born Feb. 6, 1831, John Sherman, 
born June 19, 1829, Louisa, born Dec. 8, 1823, and one who 
died in infancy. Cephas married for his first wife, Caroline, 
youngest daughter of Lyman and Jane Bigelow, and for the 
second, Mary, daughter of Capt. Thomas Lawrence, of VV^est 
Acton. He is now living in Norwood, Mass. Forestus 
married Catherine Gilmore, and resides in West Acton. John 
Sherman married Lydia AVhitney, sister of Jerome Whitney, 
of Leominster, and reared a family of six or seven children. 

158 Boxhorough : a Netv England Town and its People. 

He died several years ago, and his widow is a resident of West 
Acton. One daughter, Alice, is a teacher in that town. 
Three of the sons went West and engaged in business as 
builders and contractors, and another, John Hoar of West 
Acton, is an architect. 

Louisa Hoar married Jerome Priest, of Boxborough, Apr. 

20, 1843, and they had three children, Leon A., Carrie L., and 
Mabel Barker. Leon A. married Clara Louisa Hartshorn, Nov, 

21, 1866, and is living in Seattle, AVashington. Carrie L. 
married Herman Shepard, Mar. 23, 1871. They were the 
parents of two children, Leon, who died Mar. 22, 1876, aged 
4 years, 1 month, 10 days, and Clare, who died Sept. 3, 1873, 
aged 3 months, 19 days. Mrs. Shepard died July 31, 1875, 
aged 22 years, 8 months, 18 days, and with her two children 
is laid in the beautiful famil}^ lot in the hill cemetery. Mabel 
B. Priest is a teacher, — at the present time in Stow. She 
is a gifted musician. Mrs. Priest is sixty-nine years of , age, 
but is as active, and energetic, and interested in all public or 
private matters of moment as many a younger person. 

Mr. Priest has a ver}^ retentive memory, and can relate 
many things with regard to the infant town and its people, 
with entire accuracy. This family is also connected with the 
Wetherbee family, as Mr. Piiest's mother was Sally Wetherbee, 
Mr. Simeon Wetherbee's daughter. 

Mr. John Hoar was usher at the time the LTniversalist 
church was dedicated in 1836. He died June 18, 1872, aged 
eighty-one, and is buried in the cemetery at Littleton. 


Mr. William Stevens Houghton, of the firm of Fogg, 
Houghton, and Coolidge, Boston, was born in this town, June 
20, 1816, and lived here until he was ten or twelve years of 
age. He is a son of Captain Reuben, and Elizabeth (Mead) 
Houghton, and was reared on the farm recently occupied by 
Wm. J. Hayden at the centre of the toAvn. His parents and a 
brother are buried in the cemetery on the hill, where he has 
recentl}^ laid out and enclosed a beautiful lot. There is neither 


William S. Houghton. 159 

marble monument nor slab within this quiet enclosure, the lot 
being surrounded with a finely finished granite curbing on 
which the names are inscribed. When questioned with regard 
to the absence of monuments, he said, " It is presumption 
to raise a monument to man'" He lived with his parents in 
Littleton for a few years, but went to Boston Avhen about six- 
teen years of age, where he afterwards became connected with 
a large, Avholesale leather firm, which was running, at one 
time, two manufactories. His father carried on business as a 
merchant at both Littleton Common and Littleton Centre, at 
different times. 

Mr. William S. Houghton is a very liberal man, giving 
generously of his wealth wherever he sees an opportunity for 
doing good. At the time he was in town attending to the 
cemeter}^ lot, he was taken by his cousin, Mr. B. S. ^lead, 
througli the Congregational church, which was then being 
repaired. Mr. Houghton asked Mr. Mead if there was any- 
thing they wanted, and afterwards contributed the organ as his 
share. He did not want anything said about it, and for a long 
time no one knew from whence the gift came, exce})t those 
most intimately connected with the transaction, but just as 
surely as a person's sins Avill " find him out " so also will his 
good deeds. Mr. Houghton was the donor of the Reuben 
Hoar Library building in Littleton. It is said that Mr. Reul)en 
Hoar, formerly of Littleton, once saved Mr. Wm. S. Houghton's 
father from financial embarrassment, and in gratitude for that 
service, the son gave the Lil)rary building, — to be called hy 
the name of his father's benefactor, " The Reuben Hoar 
Library," — at the cost of -110,000, on condition that the town 
of Littleton should raise a like amount, which it succeeded in 
doing. Both Mr. Houghton, and his wife, who is now dead, 
were trustees of Wellesley College, and were active in religious 
work, Mrs. Houghton having been at one time one of Mr. 
Moody's assistants. 


Jacob Littlefield, of Boxborough, was a direct descendant 
of Stephen Littlefield, who founded the town of Wells, Maine, 

160 Boxhorough: a New England Town and its People. 

and was born in that place, June 10, 1808, on the farm where 
his father and grandfather had lived before him. The home- 
stead, although now gone out of the family, remained in 
possession of the Littlefields for many generations. An inter- 
esting anecdote is related of the grandfather of Jacob Little- 
field, who Avas one of the first settlers of Wells, Maine, which 
illustrates, somewhat, the unsettled state of the country in those 
early times. He, with his family, lived in a log house, as was 
customary in those days, and depended for their safety upon his 
trusty rifle, and a brave, powerful, and sagacious dog. Look- 
ing through the chinks in the loosely built walls of his dwell- 
ing one night, he discovered a small party of Indians, a dozen 
or more, engaged in peering about to discover the best mode of 
ingress to his home, that they might slaughter himself and 
family. He waited, watched, and allowed them to work until 
he decided they were quite near enough to effecting their 
purpose, and tlien <piickly and quietly opening the door a little 
way, he let out the eager, powerful dog. At the first onset of 
the canine brute, the Indians fled precipitately, and nothing 
more was heard of them that night ; but the next morning, 
small pieces of Indian blankets were discovered and picked up, 
all along their trail for (juite a distance, where the brave dog 
had dropped them as he followed and worried first one and 
then another of the party. Some little time after this, a few 
apparently peaceal)le Indians, having occasion to pass Mr. 
Littlefield's house, and seeing the famous dog, cried out, 
" Here, you, Littlefield, take care of that dog ; if it had n't been 
for him, we should have had your scalp that night." And the 
family concluded that they were of the party, previously so 
successfully punished for their temerity by that same dog. 
Jacob Littlefield's father, whose name was also Stephen, died 
when quite young, and his son Jacob removed to Mass., 
residing in some of the lower towns at first, and coming to 
Boxhorough when he was nineteen years of age. He worked 
several years for Samuel Hay ward, Esq., on the place now 
owned and occiqiied by Steele Brothers, and seven years at one 
time for Joseph Blanchard, Esq., on the place now owned by 

Jar,>1> Liftlefield. 161 

Steele Brothers, where the buiklings were recently burned. 
XoT. 28, 1833, he married Nancy, daughter of Capt. Oliver 
Ta3'lor, of Boxborough, and they resided with his wife's family 
on the Varnum Taylor farm until his death, only two years 
afterwards. They had one son, Sheldon, who is now a resident 
of California, and a prominent man upon the Pacihc slope. 
He is quite wealthy, and has been for some years a member of 
the Legislature of that State. He visited his father and his 
native town aljout fourteen years ago, a year before his father's 

Mr. Littleheld married his second wife, Ann l^rooks Ray- 
mond, of I>oxborough, June 10, 1838. She was the eldest of 
the four children of Nathan and Betsey (Cobleigh) Raymond, 
who formerly occupied the Nelson place where Mr. Raymond's 
father resided before him. Nathan Raymond married Hannah 
Hapgood for his second wife, and they had two sons, Ephraim, 
and M. Morton, to whom allusion has been made in connection 
with the Blanchard and AVetherbee families. Mr. and Mrs. 
Littleheld, immediately after their marriage, went to Wells, 
Maine, Avhere they remained live years, engaged in farming, 
during wliich time their oldest son, Waldo, was born. When 
he was two years of age, they returned to Boxljorough and 
settled on the Edmund Fletcher farm, now better known as the 
Littleheld homestead. They had seven children, Waldo, 
Nahum, Charlotte, — - who died at the age of sixteen years, and 
is laid beside her father in the cemetery on the hill, — Hanson, 
Susan, Albert, and .Julia, all of whom, except Waldo, were 
born in Boxborough. .Vll are settled in the village of West 
Acton except Albert. ^Irs. Littleheld, who is seventy-six years 
of age, also resides in that village, and her daughter Susan 
remains with her. Waldo married Nellie AYitherell, of Wood- 
stock, Conn., and is engaged as a carriage manufacturer. 
Nahum married Adelaide Hayward, and is settled on a farm 
near the village. Hanson married Florence Preston, and is in 
the grocery business ; and Julia married Willis L. INlead, a 
painter of West Acton. 

162 Boxhorongh : a New England Town and its People. 

Mr. Jacob Littlefield was one of the best farmers in town. 
He very much improved the farm he made his home, having 
erected all of the buildings that are now on it, and having 
planted nearly all of the fruit trees. He was a public-spirited 
man of energy and determination, and while he did not succeed 
in amassing great wealth, he secured a comfortable competence. 
He was connected with town business as selectman, assessor, 
and overseer of the poor, for seven years. He died Mar. 1, 
1879, aged 70 years, 8 months, 21 days. 


Albert Littlefield, son of Jacob and Ann B. (Raymond) 
Littlefield, was born in Boxboiough, May 8, 1856. His early 
education, which was received in our district schools, was 
supplemented by several terms at Lathrop's Latin and English 
school, Waltham. He married Miss Jennie A. Heminway, 
Dec. 30, 1884, daughter of Charles A. and Carrie f Adams) 
Heminway, of Framingham, and is settled on the farm of his 
father, in Boxborough. They have two sons, Charles A. and 
Earle R. 

Mr. Littlefield is serving the town for the eighth year as 
selectman, — as chairman of the board the present year, — is one 
of the overseers of the poor, also on the board of assessors, and 
chairman of the library trustees. He was an active worker as 
Master of the Grange for four consecutive years, and is now 
lecturer of that organization ; he is also a member of the Odd 
Fellows' lodge at West Acton. He was interested in the 
Lyceum while it existed, having acted as its president, and is 
always active in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the 







The ancestors of the first Mead families connected with Box- 
borough settled in Harvard. Deacon Oliver Mead, who was 
living here in 1783, and Anna, his wife, were the parents of 
ten children, — Sarah, Lucy, Anna, Oliver, Jr., Abraham, 
Elizabeth, Nabby W., Samuel, Hannah (who died when eight 
years old) and Nathaniel. Sarah, born Dec. 19, 1778, married 
Levi Houghton, of Harvard. liucy was unmarried. Anna 
married William Stevens, father of Oliver Stevens,* of Box- 
borough. Oliver, Jr., married Betsey Taylor, who was an aunt 
of the late Capt. Varnum Taylor, and was brought up on the 
Taylor place. Abraham married a Kimball, from Littleton, 
Elizabeth married Keuben Houghton, of Harvard, brother of 
Levi, and after her death her husband married the next 
younger daughter of the family, Nabby W. Samuel married 
three times, — Betsey Stevens and Mary Stevens, of Box- 
borough, and Lucinda Conant, of Harvard. Nathaniel married 
Lucy Taylor. 

Oliver, Jr., and Betsey, his wife, buried several children. 
There are seven living : Betsey, Sall}^, Oliver, Lyman, Emorj^, 
Walter and Anna, Betsey, born Nov. 10, 1815, married Peter 
Whitcomb, and settled in town, Sally married George Hager, 

* Mr. Oliver Stevens, the son of William Stevens, is still living on the old Stevens 
estate, in the southwest part of the town. William Stevens was school committee and 
selectman quite a long time. 

164 Boxho7'ongh : a New England Town and its People. 

settled in Boxborough, and afterwards removed to West Acton, 
where they still reside. Oliver married Caroline Wetherbee, 
and settled in town ; their oidy living cliild, Sadie A. B., 
married Alfred Brown and resides at home. Lyman married 
Melissa Willis, of Harvard, and they have two children, Lyman 
Willis and Emma ; Willis married Julia Littlefield, of Box- 
borough ; Emma married Frank Priest, of Harvard, and they 
are both living at West Acton. Emory married Eliza Clement, 
of Vermont, and settled in town ; their only living child, 
Frances Annie, married Philip Cunningham, and they are 
settled on the old Stone place. They have four children, 
Bernice, Stella, Wallace P^mory, and Leo. Walter married 
Eliza Jane Chandler, of Maine, and is living on the Mead 
estate, where his father and grandfather lived before him ; 
they have three children : two sons — the firm of Charles H. 
Mead and Co. — are engaged in business at West Acton, and 
the only daughter, Blanche, is at home. Charles H. married 
Jennie P)ruce, and they reside at West Acton. Anna married 
William Moore, and their home is the Bigelow homestead at 
the centre of the town. 

Samuel, who married Betsey Stevens, settled on the estate 
now owned by Mr. Charles Brown. They had three children ; 
Mrs. Elizabeth Ives, of Natick ; Franklin, who married Miss 
Nancy Morse, of Mason, and died in Lunenburg ; and Ben- 
jamin Stevens. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Boxborough, on the 
Samuel Mead farm, July 2, 1823, and remained there engaged 
in farming until he was twenty-one years of age. The follow- 
ing autumn he went to Natick and learned the shoemaker's 
trade, but after remaining a j^ear and a half, failing health led 
him to return to Boxborough, where he followed farming in 
summer and his trade in the winter season until ill-health 
again necessitated a change, when he went to Littleton and 
engaged in farming for eight months for ]\ev. William H. 
White. Sept. 19, 1847, he married Kebecca Louisa Burgess, of 


The Mead Family. 165 

Harvard. After his marriage he removed to Natick and 
engaged himself at his trade for a short time, but finding that 
farm life was better suited to his health, he soon returned and 
settled at the old homestead, where he remained until 1881, 
when he })urchased the l\eid)en Draper place, which he now 
owns and occupies. ^Ir. and ]Mrs. Mead have two children : 
Edgar C, wdio married Lucie H. Hay ward, and is living in 
l>oxborough, and iNIinnie L., who married George Y. Kings- 
l)ury, and resides at Ayer. ]Mr. Mead held the office of assessor 
and overseer of the poor, and was selectman for twelve years 
during the years 1864-84. 

Samuel and Mary (Stevens), his second wife, had only one 
child, Samuel, who died at the West. 

Samuel and Lucinda (Conant) Mead were the parents of 
six children : Lucinda, w'ho married David Howe, of ]Maine ; 
Albert, who married Alwilda B. Crocker, of Maine ; Alfred, 
who married Hannah Maria Miles, of Stow ; Abby, w^ho is 
unmarried ; Anna, who married Charles Haiding, and lived 
onh' a few years after her marriage : and Mary, wlio died 
young. Lucinda, Albert, Alfred and Abby, all reside in Natick. 
Albert Mead has been an extensive shoe manufacturer, and has 
acquired a large property, but has now retired from the business 
and is living upon a farm. He had the honor of representing 
liis town in the Legislature three years ago. 

Nathaniel and Luc}" (Taylor), his wife, settled on the 
estate now owned by Mr. Frank AVhitcoml). They had eight 
children : Nathaniel (who had his name changed to Adelbert), 
Oliver W., born (Jet. 19, 182-3, Sarah, Maria, Mary, Anna, 
Varnum and Frances Adelaide. Adelbert married Almira 
Hoar, of Littleton, and resides at West Acton. Their only 
living child, Estella, married David Cutler, and is living in 
her father's home. They have five children : Etta, Ethel, 
Emma, Adelbert and Azelia. Mr. Cutler is engaged most of 
the time in Florida, where ]\lr. Adelbert ]\Iead owns an orange 
grove. Oliver AV. married three times; May 22, 1851, he 
married Mary E., daughter of Daniel Hartw^ell, of Harvard. 
They had four children, Warren H., born Dec. 18, 1853, 

166 Boxhorough : a Neiv England Toum and its People. 

married Lizzie Blandon, December, 1877, died Jan. 29, 1879, 
Julian A., Emma A., and Nelson A., who died in infancy. 
Julian A., born Apr. 15, 1856, married Mary D. Emerson, 
Dec. 12, 1889, and settled in Watertown, where he is a noted 
physician. Dec. 24, 1881, Emma A. became the wife of Geo. 
Sumner Wright, son of Mr. Geo. C. Wright. Oliver W. Mead 
married for his second wife, Aug. 22, 1867, Susan A. jNIorrill, 
with whom he lived only a few months. Jan. 19, 1869, he 
married Lucy M. Emery, of Jaffrey, N. H. They have two 
sons, Hobart E., born July 1, 1870, and Louis Guy, lx)rn 
Oct. 3, 1873. The younger son, Guy, is fitted for college, and 
expects to enter on a college course, if his health will admit of 
it. Both sons reside at home in West Acton. Sarah Mead 
married Mr. Low, of Fitchburg, and they, had twelve children. 
After her death her husband married again, and they were the 
parents of five more, making a family of seventeen children. 
Maria married Andrew Patch, of Littleton, and went to 
Harvard ; of their four children only two are living. Mr. 
Patch died about twelve years ago, and about three years ago 
his widow went to Charlestown to reside with her son. Mary 
married John J. Lothrop, and lived in California until the 
death of her husban d, a period of over thirty years ; they had 
no children. Mrs. Lothrop is now living at West Acton. 
Anna married Charles Twitchell, of Fitchburg, and they are 
now living at West Acton. They have one son, Clarence, 
who resides at home. Varnum B. married Martha A. Keyes 
for his first wife, and for the second, Direxa E. Mead. He 
has three children by his second wife : George V., Fred S. and 
Adelbert F. 

Adelbert, Oliver W. and A^Trnum Mead, carry on a large 
business at 35 North Market, and 35 Clinton Streets, Boston, 
under the firm name of A. and O. W. ]\Iead and Co. I quote 
the following from " Our Grange Homes ": " The location is 
considered one of the best in the city. They have cold storage 
capacity of 1,000 tons at West Acton, and they built the first 
large cold storage house in Massachusetts for holding 
commission goods. On the Boston premises is every necessary 

The Mead Family. 167 

appliance for the expeditious and efficient handling of all goods 
included in the commission trade, the utmost efficiency thus 
being secured. 

" The ample opportunities given by the long period this 
house has been established have been well improved ; a steady 
reputation has thus been acquired. The specialties are butter, 
poultry, eggs, cheese, fruits, etc., selling to all classes of 
customers. Two-thirds of the business comes from the West 
and Provinces. 

'' The business was established in 1844, known as A. and 
O. W. Mead, taking its present title in September, 1866, by 
which date it will be seen that this is, with a few exceptions, 
the oldest produce commission house in Boston. 

" The early life of Adelbert was passed in agricultural 
pursuits. Young Mead was apprenticed to a shoemaker and 
learned the trade. In 1841 he began to sell shoes in Boston, 
and it became convenient to his neighbors and those along the 
route from Boxborough to entrust goods to him for sale on 
commission, and thus the present business was eventually 
established, he taking as his partner his brother, Oliver W. 
Mead. They at first had a large wagon, with a stand outside 
Quincy Market, and the business was conducted at the Market 
for nine years. It was then removed to 50 North Market 
Street, and to the present site in 1866. Mr. Mead is well 
known to the merchants as a man of unimpeachable character 
and high aims, and he owes his success in life to his pluck, 
push and ability. He has done his part by liberal and honor- 
able methods to place the house in its present position in the 
trade. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and, 
with Mr. O. W. Mead, also is a member of the Fruit Exchange. 
He is interested with his brothers in railroads, and also in live- 
stock in Wyoming. 

" Mr. O. W. Mead conducted the farm until twenty-one 
3^ears of age, and at an early age he evinced pleasure in intel- 
lectual pursuits, and on reaching his majority taught school 
until twenty-three years of age in Lunenburg and Littleton. 
He then connected himself with his brother in the present 

168 Boxhorough : a JVew EyKjlayid Town aixJ ?Y.s- People. 

business. He is a first-class business man in every sense of the 
word, and has always manifested marked financial ability. As 
an executive he possesses great power, and has carried system 
as near perfection as can Ije obtainable. He has been called 
upon to fill positions of trust, and is director in the P'irst 
National Bank of Ayer, and trustee in the North Middlesex 
Savings Bank of the same town. He was also a director in 
the Chamber of Commerce, and was one of the charter members 
of the Produce Exchange. 

" Mr. Vai-num B. ^Nlead was l)orn on the farm ; his life has 
been varied. When nineteen years old lie went to the Sand- 
wich Islands, where he remained five years ; he then had a 
valuable business experience in Fitchburg, Montreal and Acton, 
shipping from Montreal and Acton to Boston, and mainly to 
his brothers. He came to this city in 18G6, and was one year 
on salary in his brother's firm, and in 1867 was admitted to 
partnershi}). He has a large circle of warm personal friends. 
Among other positions of trust, he is president of tlie Franklin 
and Megantic Railroad, of Maine." 


Mr. William Moore, of Boxl)orongli, is the son of William 
(1782-1836) and Sally (Hosmer) Moore (1793-1876), formerly 
of the part of Sudbury now called Wa^dand, and was born in 
that town, Feb. 23, 1818. His great-grandfather Loring was a 
minister, and one of his great-uncles, Timothy Moore, Avas 
waiter to Geneial Nixon at one time, and afterwards married 
the general's daughter. His grandfather, on his mother's side, 
was Samuel Hosmer. Both his grandfather Moore and grand- 
father Hosmer, served throughout the Bevolutionary war. Mr. 
Hosmer was only sixteen years of age Avhen he entered the 
service. He was wounded at one time, having had a ball put 
through his arm, but his life was preserved. His grandfather, 
William Moore, in later years was accustomed to relate to his 
grandchildren many an incident or exploit of those Revolu. 
tionary days. Indeed, so much were these tales enjoyed by the 

William 3Ioore. 169 

younger generation that it used to be a daily subject of con- 
troversy as to which of his grandsons should share his room at 
night and so obtain the privilege of listening to those exciting 
narrations. We give one or two of these incidents as related 
by his descendants. Wearied with marching, and being 
scantily supplied with rations upon one occasion, grandfather 
Moore, with several other soldiers, called at a house, — evidently 
inhabited by a tory, — and asked for something to eat. They 
would have paid for it, and were willing to do so, but the 
request was denied by the lady of the house. They determined, 
however, to have food before going farther, so, as the oven or 
bakehouse was built outside the main dwelling, they waited, 
watched their opportunity and took from it a well-l)rowned 
baking of pies, with which they satisfied their hunger. At 
another time, just after a battle, as Mr. Moore was passing 
along the battle-field, he came across a British soldier Avho was 
severely wounded, and in extreme agony. " I will give you 
my gold watch if you will only put an end to my life," said 
the loyalist to the patriot soldier. "No," said Mr. Moore, "• I 
cannot do that ; you must keep your watch." He would not 
strike a fallen enemy. 

Mr. William ]\Ioore, the grandson, came to this town about 
fourteen years ago. He married Miss Harriet Willard, daughter 
of Ithamar Willard, of Harvard, for his first wife, and four 
children were born to them, Seraphina, Francis W., Arianna 
and Albert G. Francis W. died in the War of the Rebellion ; 
Albert G. is married, and with his wife and family resides in 
Stow. The oldest daughter, Seraphina, married Mr. Augus- 
tine Whitcomb, of Boxborough, and died Nov. 25, 1881, aged 
41 jears, 1 month, 25 days. Arianna married Mr. Frank 
Lund, and is living in Lowell. They have two. daughters, 
Carrie A., and Hattie, both occupying responsible positions in 
that city. Mrs. Moore died Jan. 1, 1879, and is buried in 
Stow. Mr. Moore afterwards married ^liss Anna ]Mead, of 
Boxborough, a most estimable lady, kind-hearted and ever 
ready to help, with word, act, or sympathy. 

The late Deacon Silar? Hosmer, of Acton, was a brother of 
Mr. Moore's mother. Mr. Samuel Hosmer had a family of ten 

170 BoxhoroiKjli : a Neto EiKjland Toivn and its People. 

children, of whom one, Abner Hosmer, of Lawrence, is still 
living at the advanced age of eighty-two years. Mr. Moore 
was associated with Mr. Simon Hartwell and Dea. M. E. Wood, 
on the board of assessors, for six or seven years, from '80 to '88. 


Mr. Joseph H. Orendorff has been a resident of this town 
about twelve years. He was born Jan. 26, 1845, in the south- 
ern part of Pennsylvania, in Adams County, — named in honor 
of John Adams, second President of the United States, — only 
a few miles from its capital, Gettysburg, and within view of 
that town become so famous in American histor}-. His early 
years were passed on the farm, varied by attendance at the 
district school only during the winter season. At the age of 
seventeen he enlisted in the Federal army, where he served nine 
months in the IGotli Reg't. P. V. M., receiving an honorable 
discharge, July 28, 1863, at Gettysburg. In November of 
that year, he entered as teacher the school where he had 
formerly been a pupil, and, at the close of the four months' 
term, began attendance at the Normal school in Gettysburg ; 
thus, as teacher in winter, and pupil in summer, the educa- 
tional processes alternated for the next two years. In 1866, 
failing health, — an effect of the hardships and jnivations 
endured while in the army, — warned him that a change of 
occupation was desirable, and so the life of study was put away 
from him, and the summer seasons given to out-door employ- 
ments, although the winters as before were devoted to teaching, 
until April 1, 1870. At that time he accepted a position as 
book-keeper and collector for the firm of Goodwin Brothers, 
Hardware Manufacturers, Philadelphia, which he held 
until March, 1873, when once more realizing that he must turn 
his attention to a more active business life, in July of the 
same year he entered into an agreement to solicit subscribers 
for the Daily Advertiser and various other periodicals. A 
year later, or in June, 1871, this engagement terminated, and 
on account of the hard times arising from the panic of 1873, 
no permanent occupation was undertaken for nearly live years ; 

Christopher Page. 171 

then, Apr. 15, 1879, he took charge of the ohl Williston farm 
ill Boxborough, — the property at that time of Dr. James 
McDonakl, of Boston, — which he afterwards purchased, and 
where he now resides. 

August 18, 1880, Mr. Orendorff married Miss Lucy Ellis 
Allen, daughter of Samuel F. and Hannah (Ellis) Allen, 
of Dedham, Mass. jNIrs. Orendorff was born in that town, 
June 7, 1857, attended the district school until thirteen years 
of age, and afterwards, Rev. C. S. Locke's private school for 
four years. She began teaching while a pupil in ]\[r. Locke's 
school, having charge of certain classes, while still continuing 
her own studies. After completing her course there, she 
returned a year later and taught through the fall term, then, in 
Aj)ril, 1876, went to Dover to take charge of a school, after 
which she returned to Dedham and taught four years until 
the time of her marriage. 

Mr. and Mrs. Orendorff have two children, Jennie A., and 
Harold E. They have always taken an interest in the affairs 
of the town. Mr. Orendorff was chosen President of the 
centennial celebration in 1883, was elected a member of the 
board of selectmen for three consecutive years, and has served 
in other town offices. . 


Capt. Christopher Page came to Boxborough from Bedford, 
where he formerly resided. He married Lydia Wetherbee 
(daughter of Simeon Wetherbee, Mrs. Silas Hoar's grand- 
father), and they were the parents of seven children : Mary, 
Lydia, Christopher, Dio O ratio. Sylvan us, Ann Maria and 
Mary Foster. The oldest daughter died Nov. 24, 1826, when 
eighteen years of age. The wife, Lydia, and the remaining 
three daughters all died in 1829, of dysentery, within a period 
of twelve days. Mary Foster died July 29, when four years 
of age; the mother, July 31; Lydia, Aug. 8, at the age of 
eighteen ; and Ann Maria, Aug, 9, at the age of eight years, — ■ 
a singularly sad record. Only two of the family are now living, 
Christopher and Dio Oratio. 

172 Boxhorougli : a New E^igland Toum and its People. 

Mr. Christopher Page, born Dec. 16, 1815, is married and 
has two children. He resides in New York at the present 
time. He still visits his native town in summer, making his 
stay with ]\Ir. and Mrs. Priest. 

Dio Oratio, born Dec. 29, 1817, married Snsan L. Barnard 
of Harvard. The Page family once occupied the house where 
Mr. Jerome Priest now lives, and Dio Oratio's sons were 
born there. Albert Horatio, the eldest, born Feb. 21, 1840, 
is proprietor of a paper-mill in Holyoke, and carries on an 
extensive business. His income is said to be -flOO a day. 
He married the daughter of the former mill-owner, and has 
three children, two young lady daughters and one son, twelve 
years of age. He is a very important and influential man in 
church affairs in Holyoke, and recently, generously gave 
several thousand dollars toward the erection of a Congrega- 
tional church in that place. Dio Oratio Page and his son 
have always expressed a deep interest in their native town, 
and often visit the old homestead on the hill, and among the 
hills of Boxborough. The father has many times expressed 
the desire to be laid to rest at last in the little cemetery near 
his former home. 

Henry Augustine Page, the second son, born Mar. 20, 1841, 
is a physician of note in the State of Pennsylvania. Seven or 
eight years ago, the newspapers spoke in the highest terms of 
the valuable services rendered by Dr. Henry A. Page upon the 
occasion of a terrible railway accident. His untiring efforts 
to relieve and save the sufferers were rewarded by the gift of 
a gold-headed cane. 

Emory Barnard, the youngest son, born Dec. 11, 1844, is a 
resident of Leominster, Mass. 

Capt. Christopher Page was chairman of the board of select- 
men in 1830 and 1831. 


The farm where Mr. and Mrs. O. Ewings now reside has 
been in possession of the l^xtch family for at least five gen- 
erations. Dea. Abram Patch, who married Hannah Herrick, 

The Patch Family. 173 

owned it in " Ye olden time." Afterward it came into pos- 
session of his son, Jonathan. Isaac P,atch, son of Jonathan, 
next occupied it. He married Jane Butler and they were the 
parents of three children, Nathan, Benjamin, who died in 
Cincinnati, 0., and Lucy, who is buried beside her mother in 
the old cemetery in Littleton. Nathan Patch married Lucre tia 
Hartwell, a cousin of Squire Cephas Hartwell, of Boxborough, 
and lived and died upon the Wright place, adjoining the Patch 
farm. Nathan and Lucretia (Hartwell) Patch were the parents 
of five children: Nathan Hartwell, Lucretia Ann, Benjamin 
Henry, who died in infancy, Obadiah Kendall and Benjamin 
Henry. The two last named are the only surviving members 
of the family, and at the present time are residents of South 
Acton. Nathan Patch was school committee, selectman, 
assessor and overseer of poor, during the years 1835 to 1838. 

Isaac Patch married for his second wife, Hannah (Wether- 
bee) Cobleigh, widow of Jolni Cobleigh and a sister of Oliver 
Wetherbee's father. Their two children were Jonathan W. 
and Cynthia. Jonathan W. married Poselma J. Tarbell, born 
March 23, 1819, — a native of Vermont but a resident of Lowell 
at the time of her marriage, — and made his home upon the farm 
of his ancestors. Of their live children, — CUiarles Henry, Francis 
Abbot, Lucy Ann, George Albert and Ellen Loretta, — -four 
died in early years. Francis Al^bot, born 1844, married Miss 
Sarah S. Lawrence, a teacher of Harvard, Feb. 2.5, 1869, and 
they reside upon the old homestead farm, but in a new and 
l)eautiful residence which he has recently erected thereon. 

Mr. Patch was a teacher for several years. In 1865, he 
taught his last scliool in Harvard, Mass., assisted by Miss 
Sarah S. Lawrence, whom he afterward married. Immediately 
after the close of this school, he determined to make a mercan- 
tile business his life work and in the spring of this same year 
started for Boston, alone and among strangers, to seek a posi- 
tion. After travelling through the principal streets for three 
days, soliciting a position, he happened to call upon a firm by 
name of Metcalf and l^apendick, dealers in upholstery goods, 
Avho hired him at a salaiy of three dollars per week. He 

174 Boxhoroiigh : a New England Toum a7id its Peoj^h. 

managed to live on this amount and pay his board till the fall 
of the same year, when he was sent to New York to work at 
an advanced salary in a branch store owned by the same con- 
cern. Here he remained till the firm retired from business in 
1870, when he was recommended to F. M. Holmes and Co., of 
Boston, manufacturers of furniture, with whom he remained as 
salesman until 1878, serving both in their Boston and New 
York stores. In 1878, Mr. Holmes retired and Mr. L. S. Gould 
and Mr. Patch succeeded to the business, which they continued 
until 1888, when Mr. Patch bought out his partner and con- 
tinued alone until June 1, 1890, when in consequence of poor 
health he sold out and retired to the farm on which he was 
born, where he and his wife are enjoying the quiet of country 
life. He was chosen superintendent of schools in Boxborough 
the present year (1891). 

Jonathan W. Patch died Jan. 30, 1853, and is buried witli 
the Patch families in Littleton. After his death, his widow 
married Orman E wings, a native of Vermont, and with her 
husband continued to live upon the Patch farm, where they 
now reside. Mr. Ewings had two children by a former mar- 
riage, Luther H. and Almeda. Luther H. served in the War 
of the Rebellion three years, was wounded in the service, and 
since that time has resided in Texas. He is married and has 
two children, Robert and Minnie. Almeda married Nathaniel 
P. Prue and settled on the John Cobleigh farm — now the 
residence of Willis H. Gooch. She died Aug. 27, 1874. Mr. 
Prue died Apr. 9, 1877, and their daughter, Grace M., lives 
with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Ewings, who have had 
the care of her from infancy. 

Orman and Roselma J. Ewings were the parents of two 
children: Emma C., who died in infancy, and Henrietta A., 
who resides at home. Nov. 19, 1884, Miss Ella Abbott, 
daughter of a sister of Mrs. Ewings and who has been an 
inmate of the family from childhood, married Arthur C. 
Whitney, of West Acton, where his family now reside, and 
went to St. Louis to live. They have one daughter, Louise 
Whitney. . 

Aniasa A. Rlcliardson. 175 

Cynthia Patch, born June 26, 1811, married John Chaffin, 
Apr. 21, 1833, and after a three years' residence on the Patch 
farm removed to the Chaffin place in Acton, where three gene- 
rations of Chaffins have lived and died, and the fourth is now 
living. They had two children, Hannah, and John Francis, 
who died in 1818 at the age of two years. Hannah, horn 
Mar. 16, 1831, married Antoine Bulette and resides with her 
husljand upon the Chaffin place in Acton. They have no 
children of their own, but two foster children gladden the 
household: Caroline A. Jewett, who has lived in the family 
thirty-five years, having been taken by them when five or six 
years of age, and Frank L. Wyman, the son of a cousin of 
Mrs. Bulette, who was born on the farm and has always lived 
with the family. 


Mr. Amasa Allen Kichardson is the son of Allen and Ruth 
(Wheeler) Richardson, of Acton, Mass., who were the parents 
of five daughters and two sons. At the age of ten years, he 
Avent to Vermont to live and remained there about twentj'-six 
years. He has been in possession of the farm where he now 
resides since 1847, a period of nearly forty -four j-ears. He 
purchased the land, which was a part of the old Taylor place, 
of Mr. Stevens Hayward, son of Paul and Lucy, and brother 
of the late Dea. Joseph Hayward. He married jNIiss Huldah 
Woodward, daughter of Elijah and Rhoda (Austin) Wood- 
ward, of Landsgrove, Vt., Nov. 1842, and came to Boxborough, 
with his wife and oldest son, then two and one-half years old, 
in 1847 ; but as there were no buildings on his farm at that 
time, he made his home for the first three years upon the 
Burroughs place. In the mean time, having erected the build- 
ings which he now occupies, he removed in 1850 to his new 
possession with his family. One of the barns upon the 
premises is the most ancient of any in town, having been 
built by Major Taylor over a hundred years ago. 

Mr. and Mrs. Amasa A. Richardson Avere the parents of 
five childi-en, Austin A., Lewis W., Moses F., who died at the 

176 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

age of two years and five months, Oren A., and Ada L., the 
yonngest child and only daughter, who died when ten months 
of age. 

Mr. Austin A. liichardson, born March 18, 1814, married 
Miss ]\Iary Withington, daughter of Josiah Withington, of 
Harvard, and settled in Acton in 1866. They have three 
children, Alfred L., Ida L., — who married David Millet, 
Oct. 18, 1890, and settled in Athoh— and Clara. Mr. Austin A. 
Richardson has been section hand upon the Fitchburg railroad 
for seventeen years, where lie is still employed. He served in 
the late War of the Kebellion for nine months, nearly sacrific- 
ing his life there, but was finally discharged in the winter of 
1862, and sent home to recover from an illness to which the 
deprivations and exposures of a soldier's life had reduced him. 

Mr. Lewis W. Ricliardson married Miss Augusta S. Howard 
of Windham, Vt., May, 1877, settled upon the home farm, and 
witli his father is engaged in farming upon a large scale. Their 
oldest child, Luella Abbie, died when two years and ten months 
of age, and they have five children living : Harlan L., Charles 
H., Sarah A., Alvin W. and George A. Mr. Lewis W. Rich- 
ardson has been a member of the School Board, at different 
times, eight years. 

Mr. Oren A. Richardson married Miss Nellie M. AVillard, 
daughter of Rev. W. A. P. WiUard of Stow, Mass., Dec. 11, 
1881, and settled in Hudson, Mass., where he follows the oc- 
cupation of a carpenter. They are the parents of two children, 
Earle A. and Edith M. 

Mr. Amasa A. Richardson's father, Allen Richardson, of 
Acton, was one of the men who marched to Boston in the 
becfinnino- of the war of 1812, at the call of his country, and 
remained there several montlis. He was in no engagement. 

Mr. Amasa A. Richardson, accompanied by Mr. Chas. H. 
Burroughs, went to California in 1853, and remained there 
four years, which time was passed in many and varied fortunes. 
Mr. Richardson once related a little incident which occurred on 
the way out, Avliile waiting for the transfer of baggage at the 
Isthmus. "We were very thirsty," said he, "but upon look- 

Dr. Daniel Rohim. 177 

ing about us for water, found we could obtain it only by paying 
ten cents a drink, which we did." In the recent moist New 
England seasons wherein water has been so abundant and free, 
it would seem almost like criminal extortion to exact ten cents 
for a draught of the liquid element. I recall the remark with 
which he closed a recital of anecdotes of that period so fruitful 
in experiences. "The story of those four years in California 
would make a book of itself. I was often in danger, yet as 
often escaped, and I believe a kind I'rovidence kept me." 

]Mr. and Mrs. Ilichardson have been indefatigable workers ; 
very few have seen their days and months and years as closely 
occupied as have these two. They have been active members 
of the C'Ongregational church in Boxborough for over forty 
years, and Mr. Lewis W. Richardson and his wife are also 
members of that church. Mrs. Richardson is a member of the 
Ladies' Circle and Woman's Missionary Society connected with 
the church, and is ever read}- and willing to labor for the 
advancement of their interests. 


The name of Dr. Daniel Robins will doubtless arouse 
pleasant memories in the liearts of many of the older resi- 
dents of the town. Here among these quiet hills he followed 
the calling of a country doctor for many years, and made his 
home upon the place now owned and occupied by Mr. J. H. 
()rendorff. Dr. Robins was he of whom, in 1792, the records 
said, " Voted that the doctor sit in the fore-seat of the front." 
He was selectman and town clerk for several years. Descend- 
ants of this worthy man are about us still. 

1T8 Boxhorowjli : a New Eiujland Town and its People. 



(From " History of Weare, N. H.") 

Samuel Stone, born in Hartford, England, came to America 
in 1633 ; settled in Cambridge, Mass., as one of its first clergy- 
men, and soon went with others and founded Hartford, Conn. 
Simon, brother of Samuel, came to America in ship Increase 
in 1633 ; settled in Groton, Mass. Gregor}^, brother of Samuel 
and Simon, came to America in 1633, in ship Increase; born 
in Hartford, England, 1590 ; settled first in Watertown, moved 
to Cambridge in 1638, and built his liomestead on five acres of 
land on westerly side of Garden Street, between Botanic garden 
and Concord Avenue. He died Nov. 30, 1672. John, first 
child of Gregory, born in Hartford, England, 1619, came to 
America with his father in 1633 ; settled in Sudbury, after- 
wards Framingham. In 1656, he purchased from the Indians 
land at falls of Sudbury River, and owned the larger part of 
Saxonville. He was a free man at Cambridge in 1665, and 
representative in 1682-3. He died at homestead in Cambridge, 
May 5, 1683. 

Simon Stone, Jr., born in Groton, 1665, married Miss Sarah 
Stone, 1687. Their children were Simon, born 1689, and 
Joseph, born 1691. Joseph Stone married Mary Prescott, of 
Westford, May 9, 1728, whose father owned and worked an 
iron forge. Mr. Stone died Sept. 10, 1767. Of their fifteen 
children. Thankful, the youngest daughter, born 1754, married 
Mr. Harwood, grandfather of J. A. Harwood, of Littleton. 
Silas, the ninth child, married Eunice Fairbanks, of Harvard, 
Jan. 20, 1767, and to them were born ten children: Lucy, 

|?=».??Sft> "^S? 


The Stone Family. 179 

bom 1768, Eunice, bom 1770, Sally (1771-1804), Silas, bom 
1773, Phinehas (1775-1852), Betsy Fairbanks (1777-1852), 
Hannah, bom 1779, Jasper (1781-1858), Joseph (1783-1822), 
and Lois, born 1786. Phinehas, born in Templeton, Mass., 
July 3, 1775, moved with his father's family in 1779 to 
Harvard, where they remained five years, afterward making 
their home in Boxborough, where they resided sixteen years. 
He moved to Weare, N. H., in 1803, where he built an oil- 
mill * foi- the manufacture of linseed oil. A village in the 
immediate vicinity took the name of Oil ]Mill village, and 
retains that name to the present time. He kept store north 
of Emerson bridge and at East Weare. Maj^ 3, 1808, he 

* Oil-mills were plenty in New England about the beginning of the present century. Linseed 
and pumpkin-seed oils were manufactured in them. Phinehas Stone came from Massachusetts, 
where he had owned one, to ^^'eare in 1803. July 12, in company with Simon Houghton, he 
leased from Benjamin Gale a water-power to run an oil-mill for twenty years, and soon built 
our oil-mill. Colonel Stone operated it but a short time, when it passed into the hands of 
other parties, and eventually was owned by Christopher Simons. 

It was situated on the south-west side of the highway, south of the bridge, a two-story 
building thirty by forty feet, the flume on the east side extending half the length. There were 
two entrances, one to the second story at the north-east corner by a flight of steps over the 
flume, the other to the lower story near the south-east corner. There were stairs inside from 
the south-west corner to the second story. 

The simple machinery, strongly constructed, was, first, to crack the seed, second, to grind it- 
third, to warm the meal, and fourth, to press it. The machinery for cracking the seed consisted 
of two iron rollers, ten inches long and eight inches in diameter, fitted to iron shafting placed 
horizontally ; the rolls, smoothly finished, ran so nearly together that only a sheet of the 
thinnest paper could pass tetween them. A spout so closely fitted to the rolls that not a seed 
could escape conducted the seed to them, from the room above, where it was broken passing 
between them. It was then shovelled on to a bed-stone close by, about nine feet square. 
Through the centre of this stone stood a perpendicular oaken shaft about twenty inches in 
diameter, securely fastened to a heavy timber at the top and revolved by a water-wheel below. 
Through this shaft above the Ised-stone was a wooden axle about seven feet long, and at eacli 
end was a mill-stone about five feet in diameter, fourteen inches thick. Behind each stone 
wheel was a follower to keep the meal in place, and they, going round and round about 
twenty times a minute, soon ground out a pressmg. The meal was then put into a thick sheet- 
iron cylinder, which was made to revolve several times a mmute over a slow fire. When 
properly warmed, it was put into canvas bags, and these placed in the press box, and powder 
applied by an iron screw about four inches in diameter, turned by strong machinery connected 
with the water-wheel. The oil, like cider, ran down into a tub from which it was dipped into 
barrels. The flax-cake was taken out of the press, chopped into small pieces with an axe, 
again placed under the great stone wheels, ground into meal and sold to be fed to the farmers' 
stock. The oil was sold for about $1.50 a gallon, and hundreds of barrels were made each 

The raising of flax was a great industry before the time of cotton-factories, and flaxseed 
used to be taken at all the stores as barter and sold in turn to the oil-mills. Stone, and after 
him .Simons, used to have great bins of it, more than five hundred bushels, stored in the 
second story of their oil-mill at a time. Then the mill ran more than two-thirds of the year. 
In 1835, but a few bushels of seed could be obtained, the mill ran only two or three w^eeks, and 
in 1S36 the business ceased. Tinseed as well as pumpkin-seed oil found a i^eady market in 
those days, and the business was profitable. 

180 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

married Hannah Jones, a native of Londonderry, who was 
born April 27, 1783, and taught school at Oil Mill village. 
Their eight children were all born at Weare ; viz., Sarah, 
Phinehas J., Silas, Josiah, Avho died when an infant, Amos, 
Jasper, Joseph, and Jonathan. In 1824, he removed with 
his family to Charlestown, Mass.; there he kept a grocery 
store ; died at Charlestown, Jan. 9, 1852, aged seventy-seven 
years, and was buried in the tomb which he had built the year 
before at Boxborough. His wife died in Charlestown, Dec. 17, 
1867, aged eighty-four years seven months twenty days, and 
is laid beside him. Phinehas Stone was captain of a company 
of New Hampshire detatched militia of the first regiment under 
Lieut.-Col. N. Fisk, in the war of 1812, Avent from Weare on 
or about Sept, 12, 1814, did actual service at Portsmouth, 
N. H., and was honorably discharged. He was drafted at 
Goffstown for three months, continued to be captain for some 
time and was subsequently chosen colonel of the regiment. 

The daughter, Sarah, was born Mar. 18, 1809, married Seth 
W. Lewis, of Claremont, N. H., in 1834, and died in Charles- 
town, Mass., Apr. 27, 1872, aged sixty-three years. Her 
husband, Seth W. Lewis, died July 1, 1872, aged sixty-six 
years. They were buried in Woodlawn cemetery. 


Phinehas Jones, second child and eldest son of Hannah 
(Jones) and Col. Phinehas Stone, was born in Weare, N. H., 
May 23, 1810, where he lived until November, 1824, when he 
removed with his family to Charlestown, Mass., Avhich has ever 
since been his adopted home. He married Ann Maria Lind- 
sey, June 20, 1841. She died Sept. 6, 1851. Joseph Stone, 
fourth child of Phinehas J. and Ann M. (Lindsey) Stone, was 
born at Charlestown, Mass., Jan. 4, 1848, graduated from 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1868 as Civil Engi- 
neer, and took the degree of S. B., entered the office of 
William H. Thompson, Boston, July, 1868, as mill engineer, 
became mill engineer for the Manchester Print Works, Man- 

PMnehuH J. Stone 181 

Chester, N. H., in 1870, and was appointed agent, Feb. 1, 1874. 
On the reorganization of the company as the Manchester Mills, 
in April, 1874, he was continued as agent until Sept. 30, 1880. 
Oct. 1, 1880, he was appointed superintendent of the Lower 
Pacific Mills, Lawrence, Mass., devoted to the manufacture of 
worsted goods. He was , married Jan. 12, 1870, to Lillias 
Blaikie, only daughter of Kev. Alexander Blaikie, D.D., of 
Boston, who died, without children, in Dedham, Mass., 
Dec. 26, 1873. He was again married, Feb. 10, 1880, 
to Minnie Harris, eldest daughter of Horatio Harris, Esq., of 
Roxbury, by whom he had a son, Harris Stone, who was born 
Dec. 4, 1880, and died Aug. 12, 1881, also a daughter, 
Marion Stone, born Oct. 14, 1882. He lived at home with his 
father until 1870, when, after marriage, he moved to Dedham, 
where he lived until Feb. 1, 1874, when he moved to Man- 
chester, N. H. 

I quote from The Bunker Hill Times, of Aug. 24, 1889, 
with regard to another son of jNIr. Stone : " On Sunday morn- 
ing at 3.20 o' clock, Phinehas J. Stone, Jr., passed away at the 
Isles of Shoals, terminating a life, the closing years of which 
were marred by almost uninterrupted illness. Well known and 
liked by every old resident of the district, his death, though not 
unheralded, was an event which called forth universal sorrow 
and sympathy. He was born in Charlestown, Jan. 28, 1842. 
In youth his constitution was far from robust, but he pursued 
his studies without interruption until he was graduated with 
honor from the High School. His delicate health prevented 
his attempting a collegiate course, and he prepared himself for 
a business life. His qualifications for a commercial career were 
remarkably good. Affable and honest, it was a pleasure to 
transact business with him, wliile his remarkaljle memory was 
the wonder of all who knew him. His nature was refined and 
artistic, and his passionate love of music was evinced even to 
the last moments of his life. He was of a hopeful and merry 
disposition, and while on his death-bed strove to cheer his 
attendants and friends, allowing no complaints or murmurs to 
escape him. His charity was spontaneous but discreet. He 

182 Boxho7'ough : a New England Town and its People. 

could not witness suffering without attempting to alleviate it. 
Many instances of charitable deeds done by liim have come to 
light, and that he is sincerely mourned by many who have 
received aid at his hands in days of trouble is the best 
eulogy that could have been pronounced upon his life. 

" Upon attaining his majority, Mr. Stone was filled with the 
patriotic desire to serve his country at the front. In spite of 
his feeble constitution nothing could deter him from entering 
the service of the government ; finally, as he was pronounced 
unfit for the infantry arm, wliich he had proposed entering, a 
commission in tlie navy as paymaster was secured for him. 
He was attached to the gunboat Hastings, on the Mississippi 
River, and afterwards to the Volunteer. He left the service of 
the United States at the close of the war, broken down in 
health, but after an illness, which with its convalescence con- 
fined him for a year, he was able to accept the chief clerkship 
of the internal revenue collector's office, his father at that 
time being the incumbent of that office. This he held until 
the abolishment of the office, when he became chief clerk of the 
Five Cents Savings Bank. He also represented several of the 
most reliable fire insurance companies, as their local agent. 
In 1876 and 1877 he represented Ward Three in the Common 
Council of the city of Boston. He was also a member of King 
Solomon's Lodge of Masons. 

" Five years ago his condition became so alarming that he 
was ordered by his physicians to pass the winter in a warmer 
clime. In obedience to their decree he spent two winters at 
Nassau. While on his last visit to this island he was thrown 
from his carriage, and his s[)ine injured. This accident 
increased his debility, aud he soon returned home, to remain 
there save for a few weeks of summer, when he was carried to 
some resort not far from Boston. It was during the annual 
outing that his disorder culminated in death. His remains 
were brought to Boston, and funeral services held over them 
Tuesday afternoon. The interment was at Mount Auburn." 

]*hinehas Jones Stone commenced business in the West 
India goods trade in 1884, and l)y untiring industry and perse- 

FlmieJms -L Stone. 183 

verance laid the foundation of his success in after life. He 
retired from this occupation in 1851. He was selectman of 
Charlestown in 1839 and 1840 ; member of the house of repre- 
sentatives in 1840, 1856, 1862 and 1863 ; and, after Charles- 
town became a city, he was several years elected to the 
common council, and was president of the same. He was also 
upon the board of aldermen. From 1856 to 1859, he was 
inspector of the Massachusetts State prison. It was during 
this time that Deputy Warden Walker and Warden Tenu}- 
were murdered, and ]\Ir. Stone took charge of the prison for six 
weeks, pending the appointment of new officials by the governor, 
displaying great executive ability, giving courage to the 
officers under him, and keeping in order the prisoners, excited 
and almost demoralized by this double act of blood. " Will 
there be services in the chapel this morning ? '' he was anxiously 
asked after the murder of W^iiden Tenny. " Most cei'tainly," 
he replied, and providing arms and ammunition for each officer, 
gave orders for their immediate use in case of any indications 
of a revolt. 

He was mayor of Charlestown in 1862, 1863, and 1864 ; 
was instrumental in raising and forming several companies for 
the defence of the country during the Rebellion, wlio did 
active service in the army of the North. During his adminis- 
tration Avas completed the introduction of water from ]Mystic 
l^ond, yielding an ample supply for the inhabitants, not only of 
Charlestown, but several other surrounding towns. 

He was United States assessor, sixth Massachusetts district, 
from 1867 to 1873, when the office was abolished by act of 

He was one of the original movers for the act of incorpora- 
tion, authorizing the improvement of about one hundred acres 
of flats, lying between the north and south channels of the 
Mystic River, upon which today there is a taxable property of 
more than $1,000,000, and which eventuall}' will increase to 
many millions, as it is the terminus of the Northern railroads to 
the deep water of Boston harbor. 

184 Bo.rhorough : a New EngJmid Town and its People. 

He was elected in 1854, at the organization of the Charles- 
town Five Cents Savings Bank, its president, a position he holds 
at the present time (1891). This bank is a highly successful 
institution, with a deposit, today, of upwards of $4,800,000. 

He is a director in the Charlestown Gas Company, also 
in the Mutual Protection Fire Insurance Company. 

A man of commanding presence, loyal to his country in the 
hour of its peril, of sterling integrity of character, upright and 
honorable in all his dealings with his brother man, sympathetic 
with distress, his hand open to relieve suffering without osten- 
tation or publicity, he is an honor, both to his native State and 
the one of his adoption.* 

Silas Stone, second son of Phinehas and Hannah, was born 
Sept. 30, 1812. When a young man he worked in New York 
City at baking ; from there he went to his native town, Weare, 
and kept store ; from there he went to Charlestown, and from 
there to Stoneham, jNIass., where he died, March 2, 1842, aged 
29 years, 5 months, 2 days. He married Sarah Ann Hall, 
June 8, 1838. They had one son who died June 22, 1841, 
aged 22 months, and is buried in the tomb at Boxborough. 


Amos Stone, fourth son of Phinehas and Hannah, was born 
Aug. 16, 1816. He was educated in the Charlestown free 
schools. At the age of fifteen he went into his father's grocery 
store, and remained there until he was twenty-one years of age ; 
he then bought his first parcel of land, which he now owns, 
and commenced a real estate business ; built and sold houses, 
and has continued in that business, more or less, down to the 
present time, until now he has become one of the largest real- 
estate holders in Middlesex County. Not infrequently legal 
qtiestions arose in reference to titles and boundaries, and it 
became necessary to appeal to the law ; he always prepared his 
own cases, employed the most eminent counselors to manage 
them, and never lost a case in court. 

Charlestown became a city in 1847, when he Avas elected its 
first city treasurer and collector of taxes, and held that office 

* Phinehas J. Stone died Aug. 

t ■ 

Amos Stone. 185 

until 1854. In that year he was elected treasurer of the county 
of Middlesex, and held the office until January, 188H, when he 
declined a re-election. In 1854 the C'harlestown Five Cents 
Savings Bank was incorporated. He took an active and leael- 
ing part in its organization, and was elected one of its trustees 
and its first treasurer, and now holds both positions. It has 
proved one of the most prosperous and successful baidis in the 
connnonwealth. For more than ten years, he, as treasiu-er, 
with the assistance of the president, performed all the labor of 
the savings bank without any compensation to either. In 1861, 
the Mutual Protection Fire Insurance Company was incor- 
[)orated and organized, in which he took a leading part, and 
was chosen one of its directors, and soon succeeded to the pre- 
sidency, which position he now holds. In 1863, he was elected 
a director of the Monument National Bank, and still retabis 
that position. He was one of the original shareholders of the 
]Mystic River corporation, a large landed company, and for more 
than twenty years has been its clerk and treasurer, and is now 
president of the- Ocean Terminal Railroad Dock and Elevator 

In the several positions as treasurer, he has administered 
the duties with signal ability. His attention to business, great 
executive ability and physical endurance, enabled him to work 
sixteen hours per day, and to perform all the duties in the 
several offices that he held at the same time, and during the 
thirty years he held the office of count}' treasurer, he never 
employed a clerk or assistant. 

In politics he was originally a Democrat, voted for Franklin 
Pierce for president: then he became a Republican, and voted 
for John C. F^remont, and has continued in the party since. 
When the Rebellion was begun he was one of the first to come 
to the support of the government, and was one of the twenty- 
one persons who paid the expense of fitting out the first three 
companies from Charlestown to go to Washington to defend 
the capitol ; although exempt from draft, by reason of age, he 
sent the first representative recruit from Charlestown at his 
own expense, and contributed hundreds of dollars durino- the 

186 Boxhoraiiyli : a Netv Kiujhmd Toini (Hid iti< People. 

I'outinuaiicc of the war. Ivu'ly in life he joined the Free 
Masons and is quite prominent in the Masonic order, having 
taken the thirty-second degree, and is now treasurer of two 
Masonic organizations. He remained a single man until after 
lie was fifty years of age, when, June 13, 1871, he married 
Sarah Elizabeth Mills. They removed in 1873 to Everett, 
Mass., where they have a beautiful and pleasant home. 

Jasper Stone, fifth son of Phinehas and Hannah, was born 
Aug. 26, 1818 ; married (1) Elizabeth Ann Gray, Oct. 19, 
1845, who died Feb. 17, 1847, aged 25 years, 10 months, 
leaving one son; (2) Mary Patten Swett, May 6, 1849. 
They have one son and five daughters. They reside in Charles- 
town, where Mr. Stone carried on the jewelry business for 
about forty years. He was on the board of aldermen in 1878. 

Joseph Stone, sixth son of Phinehas and Hannah, was born 
Aug. 12, 1820. He kept grocery store at Charlestown about 
three years ; studied law in the office of Abel Gushing, Boston ; 
died of consumption at Charlestown, Jan. 28, 1846, aged 25 
years, 5 months, 17 days, and is buried in the tomb at Box- 


Jonathan Stone, the seventh son of Phinehas and Hannah, 
was born in Weare, N. H., Apr. 29, 1828 ; was engaged in the 
grocery and provision business in Charlestown ; built, owned 
and let houses and stores ; was elected and served on the 
common council in 1872 ; was elected mayor of Charlestown in 
1873. He was the last mayor of Charlestown, it being 
annexed to Boston, Jan. 1, 1874. He was married twice ; 
Dec. 29, 1867, he married Sarah Rebecca, daughter of Abra- 
ham and Caroline S. Andrews, of Groton, Mass., who died 
Feb. 17, 1862, leaving one daughter, Sarah Lizzie, and a son, 
John Henry. July 23, 1863, he married Mary Louisa 
Andrews, a sister of his first wife. They have one daughter, 
Carrie Louisa. Mr. Stone built a fine residence in Revere, Mass., 
on land formerly owned l)y Dr. Tuckerman, on the rise of 
ground west from the corner of Broadway and Aladdin Streets, 
where he moved June 21, 1876, and now resides. 


. ^/^i6/'i/£a.(c 

The Stone Family. 187 

[From items compiled by Miss Mary Taylor.] 

Mr. Silas Stone built the house that Mr. Philip Cunning- 
ham now occupies, al)Out the close of the last century. He 
left Groton, his native place, took his bride and settled in 
Templeton. His wife, Eunice, was a daughter of Phinehas 
and Sarah Fairbanks, of Harvard. Mr. Stone first met Miss 
Fairbanks at an evening party, and it was love at first sight. 
Miss Fairbanks was a poetess, possessed of great personal beauty 
and loveliness of character. Tliey spent their declining 3-ears 
in the home which he had l)uilt. living to a great age, Mr. 
Stone being eighty-six and Mrs. Stone eighty-five at time of 
death. Three of their daughters married and Avent to New 
York, which at that time was the far West, rec^uiring an eight 
days' journey. Eunice married Jonas Faulkner and lived in 
Rindge, X. H. Betse}- Fairbanks Stone married Capt. Oliver 
Taylor, Aug. 12, 1800, and ever after lived in Boxborough. 
Silas, young, active, enterprising, went to Baltimore and was 
afterward unheard from. Jasper lived in lioston for a few 
years, but after his l)rother Joseph's death returned to the old 
homestead and cared for his parents the remainder of their 
lives. He married Mary Babcock, of Weston, ]Mass. He died 
when seventy-six years of age, and his widow lived to the age 
of ninety-three. Jasper Stone ^^•as a man interested in town 
business (having represented his district in the Legislature), in 
the anti-slavery cause, in the church, — a good neighbor and 
kind friend. 

Joseph Stone, the fourth of these brothers, born in Harvard, 
Dec. 17, 1783, died at thirty-eight. He was a young man of 
great promise, prepossessing in personal appearance, of great 
energy of character, and intellectual attainments. In society 
he was the leading man ; as a townsman, almost every im- 
portant office was laid upon him ; as a teacher he was active and 
faithful. He was repeatedly sent to the Legislature, appointed 
a Justice of the Peace, and a deacon of the Congregational 
church. Few men of his age have filled so many high offices 
so faithfully and so well. The following is a poem composed 
by Mrs. Eunice Stone on the death of her son. Joseph, who 
died Nov. 4, 1822 : 

188 Boxhorough : a New England Town and its People. 

November fourth, that mournful day 

I shall remember long, 
When pale relentless Death came in 

And took my darling son. 

While friends stood weeping all around, 

My heart was pierced with pain ; — 
Nor will that sweet and pleasant voice 

E' er cheer my heart again. 

While angel bands stood 'round tlie bed, 

And filled the solemn room, 
A smile of joy shone on his face ; — 

They then conduct him home. 

By faith I traced his wondrous way 

Where the sweet angels sing ; 
And thought how loud the harps would play 

When Joseph entered in. 

And is he gone to realms above ? 

Dear Jesus, he is thine ; 
Freely I cast him on thy arms, — 

They tc sweeter arms than mine. 

Prepare my soul to follow too, 

'Mid all the glorious ranks, 
And hail my dear beloved son. 

On Canaan's flowery banks. 

He married Sarah W. Stowe, of Hillsborough, N. H., an 
nunt of Benjamin S. Hager. Mr. and Mrs. Silas Stone made one 
trip to New York to visit their two remaining daughters, one, 
Mrs. Lucy Mallory, having died and left a little girl. This 
child, whose name was Sally M., they brought back with them, 
and their home became hers until she married Aaron Fiske, of 
Natick, Mar. 29, 1881, where she now lives in the pleasant 
home of her daughter, Mrs. Bruce. 


Miss Mary Taylor furnishes tlie following sketch :— 

In the latter part of the seventeenth century, three brothers 
by tlie name of Taylor sailed from England to America, making 
their homes within a mile and a half of each other. Ephraim 
settled on the place wliere ('. H. Burroughs now lives, Phinehas 
on what is known as the Samuel Hosmer farm, and John 

The Taylor Fmnihi. 189 

on the Ca})taiii 'J'aylor place. His sou John, born 1(397, lived 
and died on the same place. His children were John, horn 
1719, Jabe, born 1722, Solomon, born 1724, and Hannah, who 
married Elijah Willis, Dec. 3, 1760. In 1745 Solomon mar- 
ried Mary MacLaughlin, who was born on the water. Their 
children were Molly, born 1746, married Frederick Walcott, of 
Stow, Mar. 29, 1761 ; John, born 1748 ; Tabathj^ born Nov. 
13, 1749; Lydia, born Feb. 10, 1752 ; Oliver, born Mar. 30, 
1754, married Betty Wetherbee, who was born Feb. 11, 1753 — 
the daughter of Phinehas and Betty Wetherbee, and"" grand- 
daughter of Daniel Wetherbee; — Solomon, born Aug. 19, 
1756, married Anna Whitman, Mar. 7, 1777; and Betty, born 
June 3, 1758, married Levi Wheeler, Feb. 3, 1776, and settled 
in Boxborough. 

The descendants of Lydia live in Canaan, N. H. John 
enlisted in the Revolutionary War, where he remained 
through the seven years' struggle. Oliver remained on the 
farm with his father after his marriage, and his five children, 
Oliver, Hezekiah, Jonathan, Betty and Lovell were born there. 
Hezekiah married Sally Wetherbee, of Harvard. He was in 
consumption and was married on his bed. Jonathan married 
Lucy Whitcomb and lived and died in Chesterfield, N. H. 
Betty married Oliver Mead, lived a few years in Chesterfield, 
N. H., and then returned to Boxborough, living and dying 
upon the place now in possession of Walter Mead. Lovell 
married Mercy Rand and settled in Stow. Oliver lived in the 
house with his father, working on the farm or making barrels, 
as best suited their convenience. Aug. 12, 1800, he married 
Betsey Fairbanks Stone. Their children were Lucy, Betsey, 
Franklin, Nancy, Varnum, Sally Stone, Mary and Eunice. 
Lucy married Nathaniel Mead and settled Within half a mile of 
the old place, where in her new and pleasant home, she, with 
her husband and children, lived until near the close of her life. 
Her family are described in the Mead family in this book. 
Franklin v/as a cooper by trade, and an excellent workman. 
He died unmarried, June 21, 1840. Sally Stone married 
Phinehas W. Houghton, of Harvard, where they lived awhile 
and then returned to Boxborouoh. She left no children. 

190 Bo.rhoroiigh : a Ncir Enr/Iand Toirn and iis People. 

Eunice Taylor, a lady of purity and loveliness of character, died 
young. Miss Mary Tajdor, the only one remaining of the 
family, whose early and middle life was spent in teaching, is 
now living in her own house in the pleasant village of West 
Acton. Captain ^^arnum Taylor, then a commissioned officer, 
married Mary I). Bowers, of Harvard. Tlieir children were 
Antoinette Lovina, Marietta Nancy, Sarah Ann Stone, and 
Warren A'arnum. Antoinette L. married Luther Barnard, a 
provision dealer in Chelsea, whose business was kept up until 
his death. In less than a year after her husband's death she 
buried her little girl. Ten years afterwards she married Mr. 
J). W. Cobleigh and settled on the limestone farm in Box- 
borough. Marietta N. married Charles H. Holton, and resides 
in West Acton. He is a son of Dea, Leonard Holton, of Bos- 
ton. His parents are buried at Mount Auburn. Sarah Ann 
S. married George H. I^aw, and lives in South Boston. Their 
children are Edith May, Kalph Henry, and Arthur Warren. 
Warren X. married Miss Susan Cutler, and they have two 
children. Bertha May and Warner Varnum. Mr. Taylor is a 
provision dealer, doing good business in Wakefield. Warner 
y. is the last one in this l)ranch of the family to perpetuate the 

]\Iiss Nancy Taylor married Mr. Jacob Littlefield. Sheldon, 
their only child, was born Feb. 18, 1834, and his mother dying 
in his infancy, he was left in the care of his mother's family, 
and one after another passing away, the guardian care and 
tutorage devolved on Miss Mary Taylor, his mother's sister. 
At seventeen he left the old homestead for the city, but aftei' 
spending a year in a gro(;ery store in Charlestown, he, with two 
or three of his old school-mates, attended New Ipswich 
Academy one term. During his stay there he accepted an appli- 
cation to teach a winter term at Brookline, N. H. So success- 
ful was he in his new vocation that his services were solicited 
for another month to bs paid for by subscription. He returned 
to his native town and spent a few weeks in a shoe-shop, but 
in early spring went to Charlestown again and engaged him- 
self to iNIr. Palmer, a provision dealer, where he remained until 

Th' Taylor Fa mil if. 191 

1855, when, being of age, he set sail in a vessel bound for Cali- 
fornia. Crossing the isthmus on mules he took passage on the 
other side, and landed at the Golden Gate. After spending a 
few months there and at Marysville, he proceeded to the mines. 
Here successes and reverses alternated continually : but never 
discouraged, he at length opened a store. He had made many 
friends and business was good. He was soon appointed Jus- 
tice of the Peace. Here he remained until 1864, when he 
went to San Francisco and engaged in business as a commission 
merchant, remaining there twenty-four years. In 1878 he 
made a triji) to his native State and the home of his childhood, 
not having taken a holiday for fourteen years. In 1870 he 
married Miss Nancy South wood, and in '87 or '88, they, with 
their growing family, sought a home in a more congenial 
climate. He is now one of the leading men, a wealthy and 
honored citizen, of the fast-growing city of Anaheim, Southern 

When the first three pioneers, Ephraim, Phinehas, and 
John Taylor came to this section, the countrj- was wild and 
wooded. They felled trees and built their houses. Their 
farms joining, although a mile and a half from each other they 
thouglit themselves near neighbors. In the year 1782 the old 
log house owned and occupied by Captain Oliver Tayloj-, Sr., 
was burned with all its treasures. It was just after harvest- 
ing, when the corn was in the garret and the vegetables in the 
cellar. The neighbors for miles around, kind, helpful, and 
full of sympathy, gave expression to their feelings by felling- 
trees, hewing timber, digging a new cellar, and raising the 
frame — of green timber, wliich was all they had. It was of 
oak and is sound today. Although rude, it was a shelter, and 
with its three huge tire-places they called it comfortable. So 
quickly was the work despatched that upon Thanksgiving Day 
they were living in their own home. With hearts overflowing 
with gratitude they partook of the bounty prepared by the 
neighbors, who were present to receive their thanks. Not a 
man or woman took a cent of pay for all this work. Ever 
after this it was Captain Taylor's custom upon every returning 

192 Bo.rhoro>i(/h : a Neir Etujlaml Tmni and its People. 

Thanksgiving Day, as children and grandchildren stood around 
the festal board, to ask a blessing, and after the meal to return 

In the year 1826, Caj^tain Taylor's wife died suddenly on 
Monday evening, and was buried on Thanksgiving Day. 
Without eating or driidving, he sat by her side until she was 
laid away ; all he could say was, " I can't be with her long." 

When a boy of sixteen. Captain Taylor brought a beautiful 
little elm from Wolf Swamp on his back, and set it southeast 
of the old log house. The wind blowing from the same 
direction during the tire, the tree was not injured, not even a 
twig. This tree was his darling pet and received his care for 
seventy years. In 1883, July 4, just one hundred and one 
years after the burning of the old house, the grandchildren 
made a festival in honor of their grandfather and his pet tree. 
The long, flowing branches, by actual measurement from north 
to south, extended eighty-seven and a half feet. In the shadow 
of these drooping branches the tables were set, laden with 
every luxurj^ Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great- 
great-grandchildren, and great-great-great-grandchildren — 
Miss Emma Cutler, of the sixth generation — neighbors, 
friends, and invited guests, came till they numbered nearly one 
hundred. The minister Avas there to express the children's 
thanks for the past, and invoke Heaven's blessing on all the 
future generations. After the repast — the tables cleared— the 
company with joyous hearts Avere seated in the shadow of the 
drooping branches of the old tree, while two little girls, Edith 
M. Law and Bertha May Taylor, on a platform erected for the 
purpose, gave recitations. Ca[)tain \^arnum Taylor wrote and 
read a brief sketch of family history. In speaking of the old 
elm he said, " It measures in circumference, one foot from the 
ground, 17 1-2 feet, and is estimated to contain at least five 
cords of wood. My friends, we witness at this late day the 
life of a noteworthy tree that long existed before any of us 
flrst breathed the breath of life, and we invoke the Divine 
blessing to rest upon it and prolong its life for at least another 
century, that the same unabated patriotism may then exist as 

The Taiflor Famihi. 108 

is manifested by us here today. And I, this fourth day of July, 
1883, especially recommend that henceforth this tree may he 
known and called, ' The Indei)endence Elm of Boxborough.' " 
A poem was written and read by Miss Mary Taylor, entitled 
" The Old Elm Tree," from which we quote : 

" Wave on, old tree, wave on, 
In all thy grandeur and thy grace, 
Wave on, as thou hast ever done. 
Blessing the human race/' 

Mr. Adelbert Mead congratidated the company on the success 
of the day and related some reminiscences of his boyhood with 
legard to his honored sire. The little giils sang, Miss Lucie 
]M. Patch, accompanist, and ]\lr. Mead in his own happy words, 
in behalf of the fiiends, presented Captain Taylor with a gold- 
headed cane, and Mrs. Taylor, a sum of money representing a 
pair of gold-bowed spectacles. Captain Taylor, with heart 
overflowing with gratitude for the love that prom])led the gift, 
responded in his genial manner. Just three years and one day 
from that time Captain Taylor suddenl}- passed awa}-. He 
was a man like his father, of noble and generous impulse and 
strict iutegrity of character. The old homestead, retainiug its 
name for two hundred years without inten uption, is still owned 
by a descendant, Mrs. D. W. Cobleigh. 

Solomon Taylor, mentioned in the early part of this sketch, 
and his wife, Anna Whitman, were the parents of ten children : 
Anna, Mary, born Nov. 5, 1780, — Mrs. Silas Hoar's mother, — 
Elizabeth, Solomon, John, Mercy, Susanna, Daniel, Jane Whit- 
man, and Sally Brewer. Anna married Aaion Pollard, of 
Lancaster, and removed to Boston, where they reared a large 
famil}'. Mary married Silas Wetherbee. (See Wetherbee 
family.) Elizabeth was unmarried. Solomon married, and 
died in Westford, leaving no children. John married Sarah 
Burditt, of Lancaster, and they have several children. Mercy 
married Joseph Randall, and settled in Boston. They have 
four children. Susanna married John Lowell, a sea-captain, of 
Bath, ]Me., and they have two children. Daniel was killed, 
when eighteen or nineteen years of age, by the caving in of 

194 Boxhoroujjh : a Netv Enyhmd Town and itx People. 

the bank of the oUl turnpike which he was engaged in 1)uikl- 
ing. Jane Whitman man-ied Oliver Davis, son of that Oliver 
who was selectman and assessor in 1833, and '34, and brother 
of Eli Davis, of Littleton. Sallj Biewer married Robert 
Alden, of Boston, and of their five children, three daughters 
and an only son are settled in Washington, D. C, and the 
remaining daughter is married and resides in Marlborough. 

Solomon Taylor, the father, lived upon the old Oliver Taylor 
farm until 1798, when he removed to Harvard. 

Jonathan and Lucy (Whitcomb) Taylor were the parents 
of three children, Lucy, Harriet and Mehitable. Lucy married 
(libson Willard, of Chesterlield, N. H. They lived and died 
in Massachusetts. Harriet married Elisha Hill, of Chesterfield, 
where they lived and died. Mehitable married a Mr. Wilson, 
and moved to Nebraska, where they died. Whitcomb, their 
only son, smart and enterprising, is now living in the place 
where his parents spent their later days. 

Lovell and Mercy (Rand ) Taylor were the parents of four 
children, Mercy, Lovell, Oliver and Frances Ann. Mercy 
married Silas Davis, of West Acton, lived theie a few years, 
and then went to Charlestown. Simon, their youngest son, 
graduated at Harvard, and is now Counsellor at Law in Boston. 
Lovell married Mary Ann Moore, of Rockbottom. He died 
young. Oliver lives at the old homestead in Stow\ Frances 
Ann married Henry Gates, of Stow, a wealthy farmer in that 

The Silas Taylor family of one hundred years ago have 
descendants living in Acton. The family were very active in 
all that pertained to the interest of. the town in early years, 
having served the town in many positions of public trust. 
Several of the slabs in the lower 'Ojurying-ground "' bear the 
names of members of this family. 




whitco:mb — ^YOOD family — dea. m. e. wood — 



So far back as we can trace them, there seem to have been 
three Wetherbee families settled in town, though perhaps, 
could we trace the line a little farther, we should find — what 
is supposed to l)e the case — that there were only two families 
originally, and that the heads of these were brothers. Phine- 
has Wetherbee, whose father, John Wetherbee, was here as 
early as 1717, or 1727, settled on the farm where Silas Hoar 
now lives, and was ancestor of the line of Silas, Simeon, Nor- 
man and probably Charles Wetherbee. The farm has been in 
possession of the family from veiy early times, and descendants 
of the eighth, ninth and tenth generations in the persons of 
Mrs. Lucy (Wetherbee) Hoar, her daughter, Mrs. Mercy 
(Hoar) Wetherbee, and the children of Mercy (Hoar) and 
Charles T. Wetherbee, are now occupying the old homestead. 
The house now standing was built more than 150 years ago. 
There are old deeds and wills of the time of Queen Anne in 
possession of the present family. A remote ancestor of the 
family, becoming alarmed lest he should in some way lose 
his wealth, is said to have hidden a large sum of money upon 
the estate. The story has been handed down from one to an- 
another, and later generations have sought for the rumored 
wealth, but, although at one time the sum of f 30 or f40 was 
found in a drill-hole in a rock, with a bullet placed over it, 
nothing- more has ever been discovered. 

196 BoxhorovgJi : a New England Town and its People. 

Silas and Bettj Wetherl)ee were the great-grandparents 
of Mrs. Lucy (Wetherbee) Hoar — wife of Silas Hoar — who 
is the oldest representative of this branch of the Wetherbee 
family now living in town. Her grandparents were Simeon 
and Mary (Robbins) Wetherbee, and her parents, Silas and 
Mary (Taylor) Wetherbee, daughter of Solomon and Anna. 
The first Silas Wetherbee gave the meeting-house lot in 1775 ; 
he was much interested in both church and district when they 
were in their infancy. He was selectman in 1783. Silas and 
Mary were the parents of fourteen children : Simeon, born Nov. 
4, 1800 ; Stillmau, Andrew, born Jan. 21, 1804, Silas Whit- 
man, born Feb. 16, 1806, Daniel, Emory, Mary Ann, Susan- 
nah Lowell, Solomon Taylor, who died young, John Robbins, 
Luc}', born June 21, 1820, and Clarissa, her twin, who died 
in infancy, Eliza Jane Brewer, and Mary Randall. Simeon 
mariied Persis Whitney ; Stillman married Elizabeth Sargent, 
of Stow, and their only daughter married Simeon Green, of 
Harvard. Andrew married Maiy Sargent and settled in town. 
Of their eight children only four are now living. Augustine 
resides in Acton, and his widowed mother, Mrs. Mary (Sar- 
gent) Wetherbee, is now living, at the advanced age of eighty- 
eight years, in Gardner, Mass. Silas Whitman married Mary 
Sargent, sister of Elizabeth, and went to Stow, afterwards settled 
in Boxborough. He died about eight years ago ; his wife died 
several years before, and of their eight children, only two are 
now living, Mrs. Jane E. Tuttle, of Fitchburg, and Stillman 
Wetherbee, of Ghelsea, Mass. Daniel married Nancy Bulke- 
ley, and had no children ; Emory married Hannah Dyer, of 
Lowell. He died young, leaving no children. She lived to 
the age of eighty years, and died in the autumn of 1889. 
Mary Ann married George Dolby and went away from town ; 
Susannah Lowell married Thomas Johnston, of Boston, and 
they had one child. ^Nlr. Johnston died in 1888, and Mrs. 
Johnston in 1889. They are buried in the cemetery on the 
hill. John Robl)ins Wetherbee married Nancy Goodwin, of 
Boxborough, and settled in Bolton. They have eight children. 
Lucy married Silas Hoar and settled on the old homestead 

Th,- W,-fhn'hee Fanuhj. 197 

place, where seven generations of the AVetherbee family had 
lived before her. They have an onl}- daughter, Mercy, Avho 
married Charles T. Wetherbee — of another branch of the 
Wetherbee family — and they have three childi-en, Harrj- 1^., 
Charles L., and Daniel. Eliza Jane Brewer married William 
Eaton, of Clinton, and they have three children. Mere}' Ran- 
dall married Stillman Houghton, of Worcester. The}' have 
one son. 

Simeon and Persis (Whitney) Wetherbee were the parents 
of seven children : Andrew, Simeon, Caroline, Samuel Nor- 
man, Silas, Edward, who died in infancy, and Edward. An- 
drew married Nancy Wheeler, of Littleton, settled in town, and 
removed to Stow ; Simeon married Caroline Blanehard, and 
settled in town ; Caroline married Oliver Mead, of this town ; 
Samuel Norman married Caroline Wheeler, of Stow, and settled 
on the farm where his father had lived before him. They have 
two children living, Mrs. Elsie Davidson and Dora. .Silas 
married Mary Parmenter, of Marlborough, aiid resides in that 
place ; Edward married Susan Withington, and the}-, with 
tlieir two children, Persis and Alfred, are residents of Box- 

The ancestor of another branch of the Wetherbee family 
settled on the farm Avhere John H. Whitcomb now lives, and 
one of the family, for at least four generations, has borne the 
name of Samuel. Samuel, who was the son of Samuel and 
Sarah Wetherbee, and Betsey, his wife, were the parents of 
seven children : Charles, Betsey, Sally, Lucinda, Lucy, Dolly 
and Samuel (1807-72). Charles, Lucinda and Lucy died 
young. Betsey married Daniel Houghton, of Harvard ; Sally 
married Ephraim Whitcomb, of Littleton ; Dolly married Joel 
Hayward, of Ashby, and Samuel married Maria Fletcher for his 
first wife, and for the second, Naomi Chandler, of Maine. 
Samuel and Naomi (Chandler) Wetherbee were the parents of 
two children, — jVIaria, who married John IT. Whitcoml), and is 
settled on the old Wetherbee place (their children, Kal})h and 
Ira. are the fifth generation that have occupied it), and Chaiies 
T., who married Merc}^ Hoar. 

198 Boxhoroufih : a New Enifland Town and its Peojyle. 

Pliiiielias, the ancestor of a tliird branch of the Wetherhee 
family, was quite an old man in 1770, and owned the farm 
Avhere W. H. Furbush now lives. His son, Phinehas, OAvned 
tlie place in 1783. The first house, of logs, was built in the 
second field north of Mr. Parker's, the original grant of land 
containing something more than 200 acres. Old deeds show 
that they were in quite good circumstances for those times, 
owning not only this land, Init making quite large money trans- 
actions. As an illustration may be mentioned the fact that the 
first Phinehas Wetherbee paid #1000 to a man in Littleton as 
a substitute in the army, 1775-1778. They were active and 
interested in town and public affairs. The first deed describes 
the land as being in Littleton, in the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay, in the tenth year of the reign of George the Third. Mr. 
Augustus W. Wetherbee, the last and only representative of 
this branch in town says, "I have heard my grandfather speak 
of the first of the family, and how they often saw the Lidians 
looking into their windows at night.'' I quote also from his 
Centennial speech : " It is something more than one hundred 
and sixty years since my ancestors broke the soil and built 
their cabin in the field just back of the house now owned by 
Mr. Parker, and for one hundred and fifty-five years they lived 
there and at the old homestead where Mr. Furbush now lives 
and tilled those same acres ; and there was I born, and here 
have 1 lived the most of my life. In yonder graveyard, one of 
the first stones erected is to the memory of one of my ancestors. 
Well do I remember the stories of my grandmother, of the 
eaii}' settlers' struggle with the Indian and wild beast, of how 
they used to go to market on hoi'seback, with their saddle- 
bags on before and a carcass or two of veal or mutton strapped 
on behind, the roads mere cart paths then ; of how they used 
to come up to worship God on this verj' spot on Avhich we now 
stand, on horseback, the husband riding before, and the wife 
and two or three children on a pillion behind." 

Phinehas Wetherbee had seven children : John, Daniel, 
Phinehas, Betty, Caty, Dolly aiul Hannah. John Wetherbee 
born Apr. 19, 1783, married Linda Wood, born May 17, 1784, 


OUrer Wetherhee. 100 

and tliey liad tliiee cliildren, Oliver, John and Lucinda. John 
AVetherbee, Sr., was very energetic and enterprising, but at tlie 
age of twenty-three, after over-exertion in fightiijg a fire in tlie 
Avoods, took a severe cold, which resulted in paralysis of his 
right side, so that for twenty-eight years he could not walk a 
step, and for fifty-eight years he was able to do very little. He 
acquired, however, quite a property, owning half of tlie original 
farm. He was town treasurer for quite a number of years, and 
was especially interested in church affairs. He died May 18, 
1864; his wife, Linda, died March 2, 1863. 


Oliver, son of John and Linda Wetherbee (1805-1875), 
married ]Mary Whitcomb, and tliey had three children, Jona- 
than Kimball Wood, Martha M. and ^Marietta C. Mi-s. ]\Jary 
( Whitcomb) Wetherbee is still living, at the age of eighty-four 
years, with her son Kimball, who married S. Jennie Tuttle and 
resides at South Acton. Kimball Wetherbee commenced 
work wdth the Tuttles, at South Acton, as a clerk, and worked 
his way up to his present position, one of the firm of Tuttle, 
Jones and Wetherbee. He has been much in town office, and 
has l)een several times a candidate for the (ieneral Court. 
Martha M. Wetherbee (1839-1865) is said to have been "One 
of the best of women, active everywhere, a splendid teacher and 
musician." Marietta C. (1850-1880) married Charles B. 
Stone, and had one daughter, Elma, who died in 1890, at her 
father's home in W^est Acton. 

Oliver Wetherbee commenced teaching when about twenty 
3^ears of age and became quite a noted teacher. He was elected 
to town office soon after he was twenty-one, and nearly all his 
life held office, either as selectman, assessor, town clerk or 
treasurer, often more than one, and for many years was school 
superintendent. He and his brother John were early interested 
in military affairs, both belonging to the company in town as 
long as it existed, John holding the rank of first lieutenant. 
They were both much interested in music, playing together in 
church and in private for nearly forty years, more tlian thirty 

200 BoxhorouiiJi : a Neir England Town <(iid iti< People. 

years in cliurch. Oliver Wetherbee was chorister forty-four 
years, and c;hurcli cleik eighteen years. Both were active in 
political and pid)lic affairs. 

John Wetherbee (1807-1874) married Louisa- S, IJrown, 
who died several years ago. They were the parents of two 
children : Francis Wood, who died in infancy, and Augustus 


Augustus Winslow, son of J<din and Louisa Wetherbee, 
born Sept. 1, ]8o9, married Hattie Lane (1844-1881J), daughter 
of Simon P. and Clarissa (Gregg) Lane of Windham, N. H., 
Jan. 1, 1870, and settled in his native town. He graduated 
from the Pepperell Academy in 1861, worked with his father on 
the home farm until 1865, engaged in the produce and com- 
mission business in Boston for two years, and then learned the 
business of carpenter and builder, in which occupation he is 
engaged at the j)resent time. Mr. Wetherbee is interested in 
all that pertains to the town, and has held various positions of 
usefulness therein. He was sent Representative to the General 
Court from the 33d Middlesex district in 1881, and was chair- 
man of the Republican town committee for a period of ten 
years. He is especially interested in church affairs, and has 
held the position of chorister of the Congregational church for 
many years. He has also served as clerk and treasurer thir- 
teen years, and as Sunday-school superintendent three years. 
For eighteen years he has been a member of the school board,- — 
four times its superintendent, — and for fifteen years, secretary 
of the Farmers' Clul). Mr. Wetherbee, whose name appears 
among those of our soldiers, served in the late war three years. 
He enlisted in Co. B., 3 2d Reg't, Mass. Volunteers, November 
26, 1861, and was discharged November 26, 1864. He was 
with the Army of the Potomac in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 
5th Army Corps, from Harrison's Landing to Weldon R. R. 
Petersburg, Va., and served two years as commissary sergeant 
of the 1st Division. 

Lucinda Wetherbee (1821-1882) married John W. Phillips, 
a noted architect. He superintended the erection of several 


John Wefherhee. 201 

line buildings in Lowell, among them the new jail. He was 
an Englishman by birth. They are both dead, also John H., 
their second child : the others, William W., Josie and Charles, 
are living in Jonesville, Wisconsin. 

Phinehas AVetherbee, of West Acton, is the son of Daniel 
Wetherbee, In-other of the first John Wetherbee. 


Levi Wetherbee, the father of John Wetherbee, was a 
l»rother of Simeon Wetherbee, the grandfather of Mr. Jerome 
Triest and Mrs. Silas Hoar, and lived on the farm now owned 
l)y Mr. E. B. Cobleigh. He married Dorithy, daughter of 
Phinehas Taylor, AAho lived man}' years ago upon the J5ur- 
rouglis' place. Slie \\iis a woman of considerable physical 
strength and ability. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Wetherbee Avere the parents 
of five children : Levi, Mary, Lucy, Silas and John. Marj- and 
Silas died young. Levi, born June 25, 1785, married Sally 
Wetherbee of Ashby, and their only daughter, Susan, married 
J. Colburn Graham, now of West Acton. The}^ have one 
daughter, Mariette, who married James Coburn and resides 
at home. Lucy W^etherbee, born Mar. 27, 17U1, married 
Samuel Stevens, — fifth son of Benjamin and Lucy, born in 
Boxborough, Aug. 27,1791, a cabinetmaker, — and went to 
Marlborough, whei-e their only cliild, Levi Wetherbee, was 
born. They afterwards removed to Bolton, and here, after a 
residence of only six months, Mr. Stevens died and his widow 
returned to her father's home in Boxborough, where she lived 
until her son's marriage, when she went to reside Avith him 
upon the adjoining farm, now occupied by Deacon S. B. Hager. 
She remained with her son until her death. He removed to a 
residence on the West Acton road, near the Joseph Hayward 
homestead, but the house being burned, — the old cellar Avail 
may still be seen, — he removed to West Acton, to the house 
now occupied by Mr. Varnuni B. Mead, Avhich he built. Dec. 
15, 1841, Levi Wetherbee Stevens married Lucy x\nn Patch, 
of Marlborough, and their only daughter, Mary Lucy, married 
Albert B. Brown. Mr. Stevens married for his second Avife, 

202 Bo.rhoroi((/h : a JVew Emjland Town mid its People. 

Mary, (laiighter of Ebenezer Hayward, of Boxborough. Of 
their three chiklren only one is now living, Warren Arthur, 
who married Miss Emmie Ireland, of Littleton, and \vith his 
Avife and son, resides at Robert's Crossing, Waltham, where he 
is station-agent. Mr. Stevens' third wife was lioxanna Hall, 
daughter of Deacon Enoch Hall, of West Acton ; the fourth, 
Mary Croston, of Haverhill. Mv. Stevens is a carpenter and 
builder, and a finished workman. He has erected quite a 
number of houses in the village of West Acton and vicinity, 
among them, tliat npon tlie Aldrich place Avhich Arthur 
Blanchard now owns, one upon the Edwin Stone place. Dr. 
Dodge's, and a new double house in which he resides at the 
present time. In former years Mr. .Stevens was always active 
in the various village enterprises, having been on the school 
board, and president of the Lyceum. 

Mr. John Wetherbee, born Nov. 7, 1800, and Mrs. Susan- 
nah (Hayward) Fairbanks, of Gardner, ^lass., second daughter 
of James Hayward, of Boxborough, were united in marriage by 
Rev. J. AVarren Cross, Nov. 20, 1838. Mrs. Wetherbee 
brought with her to Boxborough two sons by a former marriage, 
James Hayward and Sewell Fairbanks. James H. married 
Anna M., daughter of Ira and Susan (Piper) Gibbs, of Boston. 
Their only child, J. Hayward, died when only five years of 
age. Mr. James H. Fairbanks, the father, died Aug. 23, 1865, 
aged 34 years. Sewell married Caroline, daughter of Ai 
Blood, of Boston. The names of their five children are as 
follows : Fannie B., James L., Carrie L, Emma F., and Bertha 
]M. The two last named died in infancy. The mother died 
Feb. 13, 1875. Mr. Fairbanks married for his second wife, 
Mrs. Carrie J. (Brown) Boyt, of Denmark, Iowa, daughter of 
Joseph Brown, of Groton, Mass. Mr. Sewell Fairbanks died at 
Boston Highlands, Mar. 7, 1891, aged 58 years, and 4 months. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Wetherbee settled on the home farm, 
and their three children, Pollen A., Susan A. and Emmaetta F., 
were all born at the old homestead. Mr. Wetherbee was 
Orderly Sergeant in the Military Company in Boxborough as 
long as it existed, and his regimentals, — lace-trimmed coat. 

The Wutcomh FamUij. 203 

liat. and sword, — are still in possession of the family. He was 
one of the financial " pillars of the church " in Boxborough, 
always giving liberally as God had prospered him, for the sup- 
port of His cause. Mr. Wetherbee removed to West Acton in 
1855, where he died July 31, 1858. His wife died the same 
year, Oct. 13, 1858. Their children reside in West Acton at 
the present time. Susan A., the second daughter, married Mr. 
Delette H. Hall, son of Deacon Enoch and Emeline (Hosmer ) 
Hall, of West Acton, of the firm of Hall and Sons, Wooden 
Ware Manufacturers, and they have four children, Eugene L., 
Bertram D., Etta R., and A. Stanley Hall. Ellen A. and Fannie 
E. Wetherbee reside at the home place where they have always 
lived since going to West Acton — with the exception of six 
years ' 75- '81 spent in Boston in charge of their brother's house 
after his wife's death — the house having been previously built 
by, jMr. Wetherbee, to rent. Having been left orphans when the 
youngest daughter was only eight years of age, the eldest, then 
but fifteen, became, as it were, the head of the family, keeping 
them all together under the home roof, and exercising towards 
her younger sisters the watchfulness and care of a mother. 
Miss Fannie PI Wetherbee is teacher of the infant class, and 
superintendent of the whole primary department, consisting of 
four or five classes witli their teacliers, — connected with the 
Baptist church. Mrs. Hall and her husband have been mem- 
bers of the choir for a long time, and all three are actively 
engaged in church work. 


The first of the Whitcombs came from England some time 
previous to 1G33, and settled in Dorchester, Mass. There 
seems to be a number of branches, so far as we have been able 
to trace them. Ephraim Whitcomb, Sr., was born in Littleton 
about 1700, married Parthias Wheeler, of Stow, in 1731, and 
settled in Xasholm, — a part of Littleton. Ephraim Whitcomb, 
Jr., and Hannah, his wife, settled on the farm of his brother 
Daniel — where ]Mr. Ephraim Cobleigh now lives — and were 
the parents of nine children : Moses, Reuben. Lucy, Ephraim, 

204 Bo.rhorougli : a New Enfilmid Town and its People. 

Hannah, Samnel, Peter, Martha and Joel. Of these, Reuben 
married and settled in Harvard ; Hannah married and went to 
Gardner to reside ; Samuel lived in Boxborongh a number of 
years after his marriage, and three of his children were born 
liere ; he then removed to Littleton. Lucy married Paul Hay- 
ward, Jr., and settled on the place where Mr. N. E. Whitcomb 
now lives. They had twelve children. 

Ephraim — C'apt. or Lieut. Ephraim Whitcomb, both titles 
having been given to him — married Katherine, daughter of 
Boaz Brown, and settled on the farm where his father-in-law, 
Boaz Brown, resided, and afterwards built the brick house 
which stands there at the present time. Mr. Benjamin S. 
Hager now owns and occupies this estate. Of their eight 
children, three — Ephraim, Joel and Joab — were unmarried; 
Betsey married Benjamin Houghton and settled in Harvard. 
They were the parents of three children — Henrj^, who died in 
early manhood ; Jolm, a provision dealer at West Acton ; and 
Ephraim, a farmer in Harvard, formerly, but now working at 
the carpenter's trade. Hannah married Daniel Cobleigh and 
settled on the old Cobleigh place, opposite Mr. Wright's present 
residence. The old homestead has long since gone to decay. 
Three sons — Ruel T., Daniel W. and Ej)hraim B. — are now 
livino- in town. Katherine married Oliver Russell and went to 
Harvard. Edward married tlie daughter of Jeremiah Tuttle, 
Sr., of Littleton. Martha married Daniel Whitcomb, and 
settled in Boxborongh, on the place now occupied by Mr. J. A. 
Walker, who married one of the daughters. There were six 
children, — James Henry, who lost his life in the late war ; 
John, who married Maria Wetherbee, and settled on one of the 
old Wetherbee places in Boxborongh ; Betsey (Mrs. Walker) ; 
Sarah, who married Jacob Priest, and is now living in Harvard ; 
Anna Luella, who married Marshall Wilder and resides in 
Clinton, ^lass., and Martha Jane, who died when quite young. 

Martha or Patty, daughter of Ephraim Whitcomb, Jr., 
married Ephraim Taylor and lived on the Burroughs place. 
After the death of her husband, she, with her four children — 
Ephraim. Joel. Reuben and Isaac — went to New York to V\\(\ 

The Whitcomh Family. 205 

Joel, son of Ephraim A\'hitcomb, Jr., married, and resided on 
Burroughs place after Ephraim Taylor. They buried several 
children. Joel Whitcomb, Jr., i^ living at West Acton. 

Moses, son of Ephraim Whitcomb, Jr., married Anna Hay- 
ward, of Boxborough. Of their twelve children several died 
in infancy. Of nine who lived to mature years, Sally married, 
and went to Ashby : Betsey married a Tenny and v/ent away 
from town ; Daniel, to wliom we have before alluded, married 
Martha Whitcomb, and settled on the present AValker place ; 
Mary married Oliver AN'etherbee and settled on the old 
Phinehas Wetherbee place, now W. H. Furbush's ; Lydia 
married for her second husband, Mr. Peters, father of George 
L. Peters, of Stow, and made her home in Boxborough ; they 
had three children. Moses, Jr., married Martha Cotton, of 
Boxborough, and settled on the old AVhitcomb homestead, 
where Ephraim Cobleigh now resides. They buried several 
children. There are five remaining, — Edwin Whitcomb, Mrs. 
Hannah Conant, Mrs. Caroline Hosmer and Mrs. Maria Hend- 
ley, of Littleton, and Frank Whitcomb, of West Acton. 
Annie married Mr. Harry Hoar, of Littleton. Paul married 
Hannah Bent, of Stow, and went away from town ; they had 
two sons. John — Col. John Whitcomb — married Maria Good- 
win for his first wife; they had no children. He married 
Sarah Emory for his second wife, and of tlieir five children, one 
died in infancy. Nathaniel Emory married Abbie Blanchard, 
and lives on the old Paul Ha3'ward place, in Boxborough ; 
John married Nellie Rand, and went to Fitchburg ; Maria 
married Charles E. Smith, and died in Holden, in 1890 ; and 
James married Edna, daughter of Mr. Granville Whitcomb, 
and resides in Fitchburg. Col. John Whitcomb married Mrs. 
Eliza A. Hayward for his third wife. 

Peter, son of Ephraim Whitcoml), Jr., married Sally 
Bachellor, and they were the parents of seven children. Myra 
married a Raymond, and went to Harvard ; Peter died in 
early childhood ; Stillman married Adeline Priest, and their 
two children went to the Sandwich Islands to live ; Sally 
married Samuel Hosmer, and went to Acton first, afterward 

200 Boxhoyoiujh : a New England Town and its Peojile. 

settled ill Harvard ; Peter, Jr. married Betsey Mead, Jan. 2, 
1839, and settled in Boxboroiigli. Tliej- buried their only 
child, Augustine A., about three years ago. His wife, a 
daughter of Mr. William Moore, died some years before. Gran- 
ville married Caroline Hoar, March 4, 1841, and settled in 
Boxborough. March 4, 1891, they celebrated their golden 
wedding. They have nine children, — A. Granville, Elwyn, 
Edna, Carrie, Myra, Clarence, Frank, Eva and Austin. They 
are all married but two, and one, Frank, is settled upon the 
Nathaniel Mead farm in Boxborough. All of the children 
except two are musicians, and one daughter, Edna, has been a 
salaried singer in the city of Fitchburg, where she resides. 
Austin teaches music in the same place. Merrill Whitcomb 
married in Boxborough, went to Bedford, and afterwards 
settled in Chaiiestown. One of his four children, George, 
married May Wetherbee, of Boxborough, and lives in Charles- 

Peter and Ciranville are the only representatives of their 
family now living. Ephraim Whitcomb, the grandfather of 
these two, served in town in various positions of trust and 
responsibility. He was one of the selectmen when the district 
was incorporated in 1783, and held that position, at different 
times, for many years. He also held the offices of town clerk, 
treasurer, assessor, and he was a prominent worker in the 
church and society when they were in their infancy. Moses, 
Ephraim and Joel, sons of Ephraim Whitcomb, Jr., also held 
office as selectmen for many 3^ears. Moses Whitcomb, Jr., 
and his son Moses, held this office ; the father was superintend- 
ing school committee at one time. Peter Whitcomb, the 
father of Granville and Peter, was town treasurer for nine 
years, for which service he would take no compensation. He 
also served the town in the capacity of selectman. Mr. Gran- 
ville Whitcomb has served the town as superintending school 
committee, town clerk, selectman, assessor, constable and col- 
lector, and auditor. He had the honor of being sent represen- 
tative at one time, and his fatlier, and two of his father's 

John Heed Whitcomh. 207 

brothers, Capt. p4)liraiiii and Joel, also held tliis position for 
more than one year. 


Jolm Reed Whitconil), avIio died at his home in Littleton. 
Mar. 2, 1890, was a native of Boxborongh. His father, 
Samuel Whiteomb, lived in a dwelling which formei-ly stood 
in the field in front of Mr. Parker's present residence. All 
traces of the habitation have long since passed away. I (juote 
from the Lowell Journal of ]Mar. 21, 1890, the following item 
under Littleton : " Died in this town at six o'clock Sunday 
morning. Mar. 2, John Reed Whiteomb, in Jiis eighty-fifth 
year. When such a life goes out it deserves more than a 
passing mention. We do well to pause a moment and reflect 
npon what is gone. In the hurry of modern life we let pass 
too easily from the tliought the worthy lives of these old 
people, who liave kept their places, and been, as it were, the 
landmarks in these old towns. Such sterling qnalities of 
cliaracter as industry, honesty, frugality, benevolence, gen- 
erosity, and reverence, may well be considered and emulated. 
In his simple life, ' l^ncle Reed, ' for by this name was he 
universally known, preserved all these qualities. It ma}^ be 
said of him that his life was one of strict integrity. It is not 
probable that any one can i)oint to a single dishonest act. The 
industry and economy of this good man and his w4fe were not 
to gain that they might hoard, but close upon these traits fol- 
lowed an exenq^lary generosity and a cheerful benevolence. 
The sick were not forgotten in his gifts, and those well and 
strong, Ijut carrying burdens, often felt them lightened by his 
substantial aid. As the children grew np in the neighborhood 
and town, and went forth into the world as men and women, 
they have come back to the old place to find, through what- 
ever changes, ' Uncle Reed ' still the same. Although for 
some years old age has been creeping on apace, yet he was 
always kind, cheerful and interested in the welfare of them all. 
We shall miss his face and form from the old, familiar [)laces. 
The old-time tea-drinkings and sports which have found ])lace 

208 BoxborotKjIi : a New England Town and its People. 

at the old farm will be remembered by old and young. A 
large number of friends felt it a privilege to ' call around ' for 
an afternoon, without invitation, knowing this hospitable couple 
would always hnd it ' convenient ' to receive them. As he 
passed away on that calm Sabbath morning, so (quietly that the 
patient watcher by his side hardly knew when he went, we 
cannot mourn his loss. Ever since the death of his devoted 
wife, some ten years since, his has been one long prayer to be 
released from earth, and to go hence. He had no fear to die, 
but gladly hailed the messenger when he came. 

' And I am glad that he has lived thus long, 
And glad that he has gone to his reward, 
Nor can I deem that Nature did him wrong 

Softly to disengage the vital cord. 
For when his hand grew palsied, and his eye 
Dark with the mists of age, it was his time to die." " 
In his will Mr. Whiteomb bequeathed the Orthodox and 
Unitarian societies of Littleton -12,000 each, the income to go 
toward paying for preaching ; and the town of Littleton 
1)1,000, the income to be used in keeping the AVhitcomb lot in 
order, and for other cemetery purposes. 


The name of Islv. Lennet Wood is intimately associated 
with the early history of the town. He was the second son of 
Jeremiah and Dorathy (Benet) Wood, the fifth of a family of 
ten children, Henry Champion, the grandfather of Mr. Wood's 
mother, Dorathy, was born in England in 1611, and came to 
New England as one of the first settlers of Lyme and Saybrook, 
Conn. His father, Jeremiah Wood, was a weaver, a yeoman, 
gentleman, as shown by account-books and papers. He was 
constable and collector, later, selectman, and for some years, 
treasurer of Littleton, and a member and supporter of the 
church. He purchased his estate there, Jan. 13, 1717, a part of 
which is still in possession of his descendants. He deceived 
the deed from the town of Littleton, as explained by the deed 
itself, which is now in possession of Isaac Wood, Boston, 
Mass. Several generations of the Wood family have been born 

The Wood Fnmil>i. 209 

tliere. ^'lu uprightness of character, stability of purpose, 
sound judgment, and high regard for family and personal 
honor, the family of Jeremiali and Dorathy Wood was no ordi- 
nary family. Jeremiah Wood died July 15, 1730 ; Dorathy, 
his wife, died July 17, 1752. Their graves are side by side in 
Littleton, and near them are grouped the graves of some of 
their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great- 
great-grandchildren . ' ' 

On an old weather-beaten slab in the hill ])urying-ground in 
Boxborough, we may read this inscription : 

•^ In Memory of 

Mr. Bexnet Wood 

who departed this life 

Apr. 28th, 1797 
In the 81st year of 
his age.'" 

Beside it is erected another stone to the memory of his 
second wife, Mrs. Isabel Wood, who died Dec. 14, 1797, in 
the 84tli year of her age (the first wife, Lydia Law, of Acton, 
died Feb. 27, 1765, aged 54 years, 1 month, 13 days, and is 
buried among the Wood families in Littleton ), and near these 
lies a granddaughter, Lois Wood, who died Feb. 1, 1782, 
aged 15 years, 2 months, 22 days. Bennet Wood was a promi- 
nent and enterprising man, as all his transactions and business 
connection with his fellow-townsmen plainly testify. He did 
very much for the formation of the church, and afterward the 
town, in the early days, and his energy and perseverance 
helped greatly to pave the way to success. 

Mr. Jonathan Wood, the ninth child of Jeremiah and 
Dorathy, is mentioned as issuing the first town warrant in 
Boxborough. He is spoken of as an honored citizen, and promi- 
nent in both civil and military affairs. Mr. John Wood, the 
sixth child of Jeremiah and Dorathy, has descendants still living 
in this town. He was twelve years old when his father died. A 
large part of the real estate was apportioned to him. He mar- 
ried Lydia Davis, of Harvard, Mass., Oct. 19, 1743. He was 

210 Bo.rhorongli : a New England Town and iU People. 

a constable and collector at the age of twentj^-four, a prominent 
and successful man, had pleasant surroundings for those times, 
and had a promising young family ; but death called him away 
Apr. 8, 1758, at the early age of forty. Lydia Wood remained 
a widow for several years, and then married David Goodridge, 
of Fitchburg. John and L}- dia Wood are both buried with the 
Wood families, in Littleton. Dea. John Wood, son of John 
and Lydia, the third of a family of seven, was born in Littleton, 
Sept. 3, 1747. He married Lucy Martin in 1769, and settled 
upon the home place, where, in 1790, he built himself a fine 

The old homestead, recently in possession of George F. 
Conant, and now occupied by Mr. Campbell, is still in an 
excellent state of preservation. Deacon Wood was one of 
Littleton's trusted townsmen ; held various responsible public 
positions, and was deacon of the church for nearly thirty years. 
He died May 4, 1826, in his seventy-ninth year. LTpon his 
gravestone, in Littleton, is the following : 

" Farewell, dear friend and children, too. 
God has called me home ; 
In a short time he '11 call for you, 
Prepare yourselves to come." 

Lucy (Martin) Wood was born in Old Ipswich, Mass., and 
died in Littleton, Feb. 20, 1836. The following is upon her 
gravestone : 

" Farewell, my friends, my children dear. 
My Saviour calls me home; 
My Saviour calls my children, too, 
Prepare yourselves to come." 

CaiDtain Amariah Wood, sixth son of Dea. John and Lucy 
Wood, says "My mother's name was Lucy Martin. Her 
father, George Martin, lived in Old Ipswich ; moved from 
there to Lunenburg, Mass. Her ancestor, Martin, was a 
weaver in England ; his wife was one of the higher classes ; her 
parents were opposed to her marrying a weaver, and they came 
to America. My mother's great-grandfather's name was 
Dergy ; he was the King of England's cup-bearer." 

» The Wood Family. 211 

Amaiiah Wood "thoroughly learned the trades of tanner 
and currier, and carried on that business about a quarter of a 
century, in Bolton, Mass. He married and had a large family 
of children by his first wife ; he had no children by his second 
wife. He was an honored citizen, having held civil offices of 
trust. He held a commission as lieutenant, given him by 
Governor Caleb Strong of Mass., and a commission as captain. 
To the former office he was elected Xov. 27, 1812, and the 
latter. May 3, 1814, and was captain of an independent com- 
pany later. He was a conscientious and upright man, of 
marked ability and scholarly attainments ; was a persistent 
student all his life, and was always ready for research in science 
and metaphysics ; was a close student of the Bible and was 
guided by it. He was skilled in musical composition, and took 
much pleasure in it. Selections from his manuscripts were 
published long after his decease. He often had original music 
to use at the meetings of the family. His conversations in 
later years were masterly, having accurate knowledge and a 
clear, logical mind, thoroughly disciplined. In his last days 
he purchased a home near Worcester, Mass., where some of his 
children had settled. Here he, and the estimable wife of his 
early and maturer years, and the mother of all his children, 
rested from their labors. He was Ijorn in Littleton, Mass., 
Sept. 9, 1785." 

Martin Wood, the eldest son of Dea. John and Lucy 
(Martin) Wood, was born Feb. 15, 1774, and died Dec. 27, 
1853. ' He was twice married. 

" Martin Wood was well posted in common historical sub- 
jects, and had a very complete knowledge of the Bible. He 
was a deacon in the church, and a teacher of the Bible class for 
men and women in the Sunday school for many years. He 
was a man of sterling integrity, thoroughly honest and earnest 
in whatever engaged. He had quite a mechanical talent ; was 
ingenious in making various implements and instruments, Avas 
a good carpenter, blacksmith and cooper. He built several of 
the school houses in Littleton. Several pieces of public roads 
Avere contracted foi-, and built l)v him. He was a skilful sur- 

212 Bo.rhorough : a New England Town and itn People. * 

veyor, and was often called upon to settle disputed boundary 
lines where other good surveyors could not agree. He held at 
different times all the important places of trust in his town as 
committee-man, assessor, selectman." 

Carshena Wood, son of Dea. John and Lucy (Martin) 
Wood, the fourth child of a family of eleven, was born Nov. 
19, 1776. He married Betsey Lawrence for his first wife, and, 
after her death, Tryphena Lawrence. He died July 13, 1854. 

" Carshena Wood' was a man of ability, but had no ambition 
for public display so far as he was concerned, but avoided, if 
possible, every public office. He was an ingenious man, learned 
the cooper's trade, but was always a farmer. He first settled 
in Ashby, Mass., but upon the death of his brother John, he 
sold his estate there, and was settled upon the homestead of 
his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and resided in 
the house built for his brother John, near the house of his 
father, the remainder of his life. He never occupied the fine 
residence of his father, although it was long in his possession 
after his parents' decease. He was a man of strict integrity ; 
was punctiliously exact in all his engagements, and dealt 
honestly with ever}^ one ; was a good neighbor and townsman, 
an early member and regular attendant of his church." 

Eunice Martin, daughter of Carshena and Tryphena (Law- 
rence ) Wood, was born in Littleton, Jan. 4, 1819, married 
Benjamin W. Priest, and resides in Littleton, not far from the 
Wood homestead. They had three children. The j^oungest 
child and only daughter, Arabella Wood, was born June 30, 
1841 ; married Mr. George F. Keyes, and, with lier husband, 
occupies at the present time the house where Mr. Carshena 
Wood, grandfather of Mrs. Keyes, formerly dwelt. They have 
a son, George S. W., twenty-one years of age, engaged at 
present in the machinist's business in Brooklyn, N. Y., and a 
daughter, younger, Mattie B., who resides at home. 

The estates above mentioned are those recorded as having 
been transferred from Littleton to Boxborough, May 23, 1831. 


Deacon Martin E. Wood. 213 

Mr. Walter A. Wood, of Wood's ]Mo\ving Macliine fame, 
belongs to one branch of the Wood family. * 


Benjamin Wood, the grandfather of Dea. M. E. Wood, of 
this town, was born in Brookfield, Mass., and his grandmother, 
Abigail (Waldo) Wood was a native of Canterbury, Conn. 
They settled in Orange, X. H., where eight children were born 
to them, among them Nathan Waldo Wood, Dea. Wood's 
father. Mr. and ^Irs. Benjamin Wood subsequently removed 
to Alstead, N. H., Avhere the youngest son, Gilbert, was born, 
and here, this good man and his wife, who lived to rear a large 
family to Christian activity and usefulness, spent the remainder 
of their days. Nathan Waldo Wood went to Claremont, X. 
H., and there married Ann B. Currier, daughter of Eliphalet 
Currier. They were the parents of three children, two sons 
and one daughter, of whom (Dea.) Martin Eliphalet Wood, 
who was born Sept. 20, 1833, is the oldest. Horace Benjamin 
Wood, the second son, married Jeanette Grandy of Vt., and 
resides in the city of Worcester, where he is engaged as a 
molder in the Iron Foundry. They have three children, H. 
Burton, Minnie and Maud. 

The daughter, Mary Abigail Wood, died at the early age 
of fourteen years. She was a fine scholar, and at the time of 
her death her friends thought her capable of teaching. 

Mrs. Nathan W. Wood, Dea. Wood's mother, died when he 
was only eight years of age, but the influence she exerted 
throughout those early years was one never to Ije forgotten. 
He himself says of her, " She was a Christian woman and 
taught us the truths of the Bible by precept and example while 
she lived, and in her last hours she was sustained and com- 
forted by them." His father, who died in 1857, was also an 
earnest Christian. After his mother's death, he went to live 
with a man in Dalton, N. H., where he remained four years, a 

* The Quotations in the above sketch are from Wm. S. Wood's '"Genealogy of the Wood 

214 Boxborrjugh : a New England Toivii and its People. 

period which even in retrospect is not pleasant to dwell upon, 
because of the want and hardship connected with it. He says 
of this time, " The farmers raised their own wheat, and my 
greatest recreation was in going to mill, some eight or ten miles 
distant, for my employer and the neighbors," From his twelfth 
to his eighteenth year, he resided with a farmer named Nathan 
Clark, in Croydon, N. H., and the motherless boy's experience 
is again best expressed in his own words : " Mrs. Clark was as 
good to me as though I had been her own son." Removing at 
the age of eighteen to Claremont, N. H., his childhood's home, 
he remained there fifteen years. Four years of the time were 
spent in the service of one man, and here he met the lady who 
afterward became his wife, Juliette Woodward, daughter of 
Samuel and Julia (Campbell) Woodward, of Chester, Vt. 
They were married in 1860, and ten years later removed to 
Dedham, Mass., where Dea. Wood had charge of the farm con- 
nected with the " Temporary Asylum for Women," and his 
wife that of the house. 

In 1874, Mr. and Mrs. Wood came to Boxborough, and for 
the past seventeen years have made this town their home, being 
settled upon the old Hay ward place. — now in possession of 
Mrs. Eliza A. (Hay ward) Whitcomb, — of which they have had 
the charge. They have one son, Charles E., Avho resides at 

Dea. Wood had only a common-school education, even this 
advantage having been somewhat limited, but he has always 
been a great lover of reading, and so has informed himself 
upon all the current topics of the day. He says, " The first 
money I ever had of my own, — which I obtained by raising a 
piece of potatoes when I was about nine years of age, — I ex- 
pended for a newspaper, called the ' Youth's Cabinet.' " Dea. 
Wood has served the town as school committee, and as assessor 
for four years. He has been deacon of the Congregational 
church in Boxborough for fourteen 3'ears, — an office which he 
also held previously in Claremont, N. H., — superintendent of 
the Sabbath school twelve years, and has served in various 
positions connected with the church to whicli liis care and 

George Cleveland Wright. 215 

thought have been so freely given, and for whose welfare he 
has labored unceasingly. He \vas elected a Trustee of the 
" Literary and Library Association," AVest Acton, about four 
years ago. 

Mrs. Wood's influence as a patient and willing, though 
quiet worker, in the church, is also deeply felt. She was presi- 
dent of the " Ladies' Circle " quite a number of j^ears, and is 
ever active in promoting its interests. In the home, in the 
church, in the sick-room, wherever she goes, whatsoever her 
hand finds to do, she does with her might. Mr. and Mrs. 
Wood have many friends and are highly respected bv all who 
are acquainted with them. 

Rev. Sumner G. Wood, of Easthampton, Mass., who will 
be well remembered by many of our Boxborough people, is a 
son of Mr. Franklin Wood, late of Waltham, Mass., who was 
a brother of Nathan W. AVood, Dea. Wood's father. We 
quote from a Waltham paper with regard to Mr. Franklin 
Wood : " Of deceased it may be truly said that Waltham never 
had a more conscientious citizen, the church a truer disciple, or 
home a kinder or more faithful head." 

Rev. Horace Wood, who died in Keene, N. H., in 1886, 
was also a brother of Xathan W. Wood. He devoted himself 
for thirty-six years to the work of the ministry, only giving it 
up when compelled to do so by ill-health. It is said of him : 
" Wherever Mr. Wood labored, his people had confidence in 
him as a thoroughly good man, a safe and sympathetic 
counselor, without any of those eccentricities of character 
which injure the usefulness of so many pastors." 

Rev. John Wood, of Fitchburg, Mass., a former pastor in 
this town, is a second cousin of Deacon Wood. 

1 am indebted to one of the Wright family for the following sketch : — 


He was born Jan. 7, 1823, in Bedford. His father, Joel 
Wright, lived in Boxborough at one time in the brick dwelling- 
house opposite the Orthodox Church. His grandfather's name 
also was Joel, and Ids great-grandfather, Ebenezer Wright, 

216 Boxhorougli : a New Enyland Town and its People. 

lived ill Templetou and Hubbardston. His mother, Dolly H. 
Reed, was born in Littleton, and afterwards taught school in 
Boxborough. She was a daughter of Ponlter Reed, and her 
mother, Molly Hartwell, was a direct descendant in the sixth 
generation from William Hartwell, who came to Concord in 
1635-36. Ponlter (son of John Reed, of Lexington), soon 
after his marriage to Molly Hartwell, moved to Boxborough, 
and lived on a farm about one eighth mile east of the centre, — 
in a house nearly opposite that now occupied by Simon B. 
Hager. They soon returned to Lexington, and then to Little- 
ton, where George's mother was born. Mr. Wright has in his 
possession no less than three certificates of his mother's ability 
to "teach school;" one of them has a local interest, at least, 
and reads as follows : — 


April 17th, 1813. 

These may certify that having examined Miss Dolly H. 

Heed, I do find her so well versed in English reading and the 

grammatical construction as to approve of her in the employment 

of teaching an English school. 


Joseph Willaiid, C'lerk." 

Rev. Joseph Willard was the hrst minister of the District 
of Boxborough. 

Dec. 31, 1846, he married Susan H. Davis, daughter of 
Jonathan B. Davis, granddaughter of Simon Hosmer, and 
grandniece of Captain Isaac Davis, who was killed at Concord 
tight. Four of the children lived to grow up, born as follows : 
Estella M., Dec. 20, 1849 ; George S., July J 3, 1857 ; EffieR., 
June 13, 1860 ; T. Bertha, June 5, 1866. 

At the age of thirty-one, after being in the milk business in 
Charlestown and Boston two years, he engaged in the coffee 
and spice business as a member of the firm of Hayward and Co., 
which, after twenty-five years of successful business, united 
with Dwinell and Co., and soon after with Mason and Co., 
under the firm name of Dwinell, Hayward and Co., the largest 


'U. ^ 

George Cleaveland Wright. -1" 

coffee and .spice house in New England. Though always an 
equal partner in every respect, he never asked to have his 
own name appear in the firm name. 

P^or the past thirty years he has been the coffee buyer of 
the house, and his frequent trij^s to the New York markets have 
made him personally known to most of the piominent coffee- 
men of this countr}^ As a coffee buyer he has few equals and 
no superiors. With the courage of his convictions, backed b}- 
a most thorough knowledge of the statistical position of tlie 
article in question, he has shown his right to the foremost 
position in his department of the business ; notably so in the 
rise of 1886-1887, when the Brazilian coffees advanced in one 
Aear more than 250 per cent in value. 

From small beginnings, the firm of Dwinell, Haj^ward and 
Co. has seen a healthy and legitimate growth, and today dis- 
tributes the products of its extensive factory, located at the 
corner of Batterymarch and Hamilton Streets, Boston, in 
almost every State :ind Territoi-y tliis side tlie liocky 

Mr. Wright is strictly a self-made man. Without rich or 
influential friends to help, he has won for himself a position in 
the business world that any man nnght envy, and to which few 
attain, and he bids fair, at the age of sixty-eight, to enjoy for 
many years the competency he so well deserves. 

Early in his successful business life — 1861 — he buil-t a 
worthy home on the brow of the hill overlooking the village of 
West Acton, which commands a glorious view of the surround- 
ing country. Here his children grcAV up, and here he still 

He has been pi-ominentlv identified with the Universalist 
Parish in West Acton, and was one of three to contribute a 
large sum toward the erection of its present meeting-house. 

In all the village and town improvements, Mr. Wright has 
ah^ays shown a lively interest and a generous help. 

Lyceum and temperance, school and liln-ary, have found in 
liini a firm friend and a most liberal patron. 

21 « Bo.vhorniu/h : a JVe/r Uii;/hnid Toirn and its People. 

Though Mr. Wright never sought prominence in social or 
town affairs any more than in his business career, yet he was 
chosen vice-president, and afterwards president of the Farmers' 
Club in West Acton, and served as chairman of the building 
committee in the erection of the present commodious school- 
house in the same village. 

In the Legislature of 1874, he represented the towns of 
Acton, Wayland, and Sudbury, as a Republican, with credit to 
himself, and to the satisfaction of his constituents. 

Mr. Wright is keenly alive to the times ; is still active in 
business, and is no less enthusiastic, in his support of the prin- 
ciples of Tariff Revision than he was in '48, when his party, at 
the National Free Soil Convention, at Buffalo, after success- 
fully balloting for a Presidential candidate, adjourned with the 
allj'ing cry, "Van Buren and Free Soil, Adams and Liberty."